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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

Medical practitioners join forces to help students studying medicine with loans
2010-02-24

Medical practitioners from the University of the Free State’s Faculty of Health Sciences have established a loan fund for enrolled students studying medicine to assist them with their studies. This loan fund has paid out a total amount of R329 106,00 over the past three years.

During 2002 the faculty’s School of Medicine identified a gap in the awarding of bursaries to enrolled students studying medicine at the UFS.

Many students who follow the course M.B.Ch.B struggle to obtain bursaries and are often forced to cease their studies due to a lack of funds.

A group of medical practitioners addressed this gap by providing funds in the form of voluntary out-of-pocket contributions towards a study loan fund to deserving students. This fund has received over R1million in contributions over the years.

Although the loans do not cover the full costs of a particular student, it brings the necessary financial relief and enables the student to focus on his/her studies and at least register. It also gives the student the time at the beginning of the year to attain more money to study.

The loan is repayable as soon as the student is employed. Repayment is calculated on the income of the individual and is administrated by an outside organisation at a minimal interest rate that only kicks in when the loan becomes repayable.

The School of Medicine encourages students who qualify for this loan to seek alternative funding. In this way, more students can be supported annually.

Currently an average of eight to twelve students per year are helped from this loan fund.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (actg)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za  
24 February 2010

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