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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

About 4 000 UFS students to graduate
2010-05-03

 The University of the Free State’s (UFS) autumn graduation and diploma ceremonies will once again be held in the Arena on the South Campus (formerly known as the Vista Campus) this year.
This arrangement has been made because this year’s graduation ceremonies coincide with the examinations for which the Callie Human Centre on the Main Campus will be used.

The various graduation ceremonies will take place on 18, 19, 20 and 21 May 2010.

A total of 2 775 degrees, 833 diplomas and certificates, 40 doctorates and two honorary doctorates will be conferred.

The full programme is as follows:

  • Tuesday, 18 May 2010:

    - From 08:30, a total of 488 degrees and eight doctorates will be awarded to students from the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, including 3-year B.Sc. degree.
    -At 14:30 on the same day 285 degrees and five doctorates will be awarded to students in the Agricultural and Building Sciences, still in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, including 4-year B.Sc. degree. An honorary doctoral degree will be awarded to Dr Ben Ngubane, the current SABC Board Chairperson.
     
  • Wednesday, 19 May 2010:

    - From 08:30, 293 B.Com. and B.Com. Honours students in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences will graduate.
    - At 14:30, 477 students in BML, B.Admin., B.Pub., B.Acc. and related Honours degrees and all Master’s and Doctoral degrees in this faculty will graduate. An honorary doctoral degree will also be awarded to the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan.
     
  • Thursday, 20 May 2010:

    - A total of 345 degrees and 12 doctorates will be awarded to students in the Faculties of Health Sciences, Law and Theology at 08:30.
    - At 14:30, 349 degrees and two doctoral students in the Faculty of Education will receive their degrees.
     
  • Friday, 21 May 2010:

    - From 08:30, 581 degrees and 10 doctorates will be awarded to students in the Faculty of the Humanities.
    - At 14:30 on the same day, 833 diplomas and certificates will be awarded to students from all of the university’s faculties.

Academic dress must be booked at fimt@ufs.ac.za before Tuesday, 18 May 2010 and can be collected from Monday, 3 May to Monday, 17 May between 08:00 and 16:00 at the Robe Storeroom in Rector’s Avenue (opposite Armentum Residence).

Please note that academic dress will not be available on the South Campus.

Furthermore, the graduation and diploma ceremonies at the Qwaqwa Campus will take place on Saturday, 8 May 2010, at 10:00 where 187 degrees, two doctorates and 63 diplomas will be conferred.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za
3 May 2010
 

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