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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

UFS honours its top sport achievers
2010-10-21

KovsieSport at the University of the Free State (UFS) will honour its top sport achievers at a glamorous ceremony at the Centenary Complex on the UFS campus on Thursday, 21 October 2010.

The Kovsie Sport Stars 2010 awards are divided into two categories, one for the top men’s sportsman at the university and one for the top women’s counterpart.

The nominees for this year are:

Women’s category:

  • Lesley-Ann George – Vice-Captain of the South African Hockey team that took part in the recent Commonwealth Games in India.
  • Tanya Basson – The current African Judo champion in the under 52 kg division and Member of the South African Judo teams that took part in the Kata and Kurash World Championships as well as the Commonwealth Games.
  • Nelmaré Loubser – Represented South Africa at the Triathlon and Duathlon World Championships and a member of the South African Prestige Biathle team.

Male category:

  • Thuso Mpuang – Represented South Africa at the Africa Athletics Championship and the World Continental Games as part of the SA relay team.
  • Boy Soke – Represented South Africa at the Southern African Half-marathon Championships and a member of the South African Half-marathon team competing at the World Championships.
  • Bruno Schwalbach – Gold-medal winner for South Africa at the Southern African Karate Championships in the senior Kata division.
  • Windy Jonas – Represented South Africa at the Africa Athletics Championships.
  • Wiaan Viljoen – Represented South Africa in Badminton at the Thomas and Uber Cup, the All African Championships where he won a silver and a bronze medal, as well as the World Badminton Championships, reaching the 32nd round.
  • Boom Prinsloo – A member of the South African Sevens rugby team that competed in the Commonwealth Games.
  • Johan Cronjé – Currently ranked 38th in the world 1500 m rankings and represented South Africa at the Africa Athletics Championships.
  • Philip van der Walt – Member of the Vodacom Cheetahs rugby team as well as of the South African Sevens team that competed at the Commonwealth Games.

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

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