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22 August 2018
Prof Coetzee is retelling old stories in a new book
"Failing to Learn Doomed to repeat" was one of the bookworks on display.

The title of Prof Jan K Coetzee’s latest book, Books & Bones & Other Things, says it all. The book looks into the many aspects that have built our society by presenting in a new way the stories contained in old books collected over the years. 

Prof Coetzee is a Senior Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of the Free State (UFS). Books & Bones & Other Things was launched on 14 August 2018 and coincided with an exhibition of various “bookworks”   art installations by Prof Coetzee that feature old books, sculptures, artefacts, and fossils.
 
Book resulting from research programme 
   

“This is a book on books so the library is the perfect venue to launch a book on old texts as documents of life,” said Prof Coetzee.

For the past seven years he has been directing a Master’s and PhD programme in Sociology called The Narrative Study of Lives. His project, Documents of Life, from which this book came, focuses on a collection of old texts the oldest of which dates back to 1605.

“We live in storytelling societies and for as long as we can remember we have been telling stories. Over time the ability to produce books was born. Any collection of books can tell you a lot about your own life and the society you live in."

“I cannot read the stories of many of these old books because their narratives are closed. I have to re-narrate the books, change the narrative convention and present them in a way that makes sense to me. By combining the books with art and artefacts I want the books to tell their ancient stories in new ways.”

Book launches and intellectual discussions

At the book launch, Prof Corli Witthuhn, Vice-Rector: Research said: “What we have achieved with this launch and exhibition is unbelievable. We always try to create an intellectual space in the library.

“A book such as this is the pinnacle of an academic career. It is multidisciplinary and it looks at the world in a different way. That is what scholarship is about.”

A painting by Robert Hodgins was also handed over to the Johannes Stegmann Gallery, home of the corporate collection of the UFS, at the event. 

News Archive

Verklaring - Afsterwe van student
2005-03-07

Afsterwe van eerstejaarstudent - Verklaring deur Die Rektor en Visekanselier van die UV, Prof Frederick Fourie

Die bestuur van die UV is diep ontsteld oor die tragiese dood van een van ons studente, Hannes van Rensburg, die afgelope naweek. Ons het reeds met die ouers geskakel en ons innige simpatie aan hulle oorgedra.

“Ek is ook erg bekommerd oor die aard van die bewerings oor drankgebruik en -misbruik, en neem elkeen van die bewerings ernstig op.” Die UV-bestuur is, net soos besture by ander universiteite, uiters bekommerd oor die drinkkultuur onder studente, veral ook die element daarvan wat met gewaande manlikheid te doen het. Ook ander elemente van koshuiskultuur en –gesagsverhoudinge hou dalk hiermee verband.

“Ek is ook ten sterkste gekant teen praktyke wat studente dwing tot sekere gedrag soos byvoorbeeld gedwonge drankgebruik”.

Iets soos ‘n “pa-seun” aand is ‘n verskynsel wat by verskeie universiteite voorkom. By die UV is dit geensins deel van die oriënteringsfase van eerstejaars nie. Dit vind juis etlike weke na die ontheffing van die eerstejaars plaas. Dit is ‘n normale funksie waarin seniors en eerstejaars saam sosiaal verkeer in die seniorbonde van koshuise.

Die UV-bestuur het streng beheermaatreëls in plek om drankgebruik te reguleer en dit binne perke te hou. Baie word gedoen om die verantwoordelike gebruik van alkohol aan te moedig. Dit is egter nie altyd moontlik om die individuele gedrag van studente te reguleer nie.

Ek kondig dus die volgende stappe aan, wat onmiddellik van krag is:

  • Die reg van alle seniorbonde op die UV kampus om alkoholiese drank te bedien word onmiddellik teruggetrek, tot verdere kennisgewing.
  • ‘n Indringende ondersoek onder leiding van dr Ezekiel Moraka, Viserektor: Studentesake, na die omstandighede rondom hierdie tragiese gebeurtenis is reeds geloods.
  • ‘n Breër ondersoek na die drinkkultuur en verwante elemente van koshuistradisies sal deel van hierdie ondersoek wees.

Dissiplinêre stappe sal geneem word teen persone wat skuldig bevind word aan wangedrag met betrekking tot hierdie tragiese voorval.


Uitgereik deur: Lacea Loader
Mediaverteenwoordiger
Tel: (051) 401-2584
Sel: 083 645 2454
E-pos: loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
7 Maart 2005

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