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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

Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences gives a warm welcome
2010-02-17

From left: Sanet Snoer and Elanie van der Westhuizen, two of the coordinators of the Academic Support Programme at the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.
Photo: Supplied


The Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently held a welcoming event for their B.Com four year curriculum students.
The event focused on the Academic Support Programme that is initiated by the Teaching and Learning division of the faculty. The programme is coordinated by Dr Liezel Massyn, Sanet Snoer and Elanie van der Westhuizen from the Faculty and a large group of around 350 students attended the welcoming event.

According to Me Snoer, the aim of the support programme is to improve throughput rates amongst students. A programme such as this one will help all the students form part of an ever-growing academic culture.

At the event the importance and purpose of the programme was put under the spotlight.
One of the objectives of the programme is to help the students learn how to apply the skills that they learn in the Skills for Lifelong Learning module on the content of two academic modules (Human Resource Management and Business Management).

The students were introduced to the facilitators and faculty staff involved. They had the opportunity to ask questions about any unclear aspects of the programme. Afterwards, the students received guidance whilst registering for the support sessions.
- Lize du Plessis

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