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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

Yeast genus named after UFS scientist
2012-02-21

 
Prof. Lodewyk Kock

 

A yeast genus has been named Kockiozyma in honour of Prof. Lodewyk Kock of the Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology at the University of the Free State for his contributions to yeast systematics.

A genus is a category of classification ranking below a family and above a species and generally consists of a group of species exhibiting similar characteristics.  
 
Prof. Kock says: “This event was a big surprise and honour which is usually only bestowed on scholars at the end of their career.” 
 
The manuscript proposing the new genus name, titled "Kockiozyma gen. nov., for Zygozyma suomiensis: thephylogeny of the Lipomycetaceous yeasts" was accepted for publication on 7 February 2012 by the ISI journal Annals of Microbiology.
 
This genus is a member of the family called the Lipomycetaceae which is regarded as a primitive group of yeasts. This family is usually studied for their evolutionary status and development.
 
The scholars that did the research and bestowed the honour are Dr S. Jindamorakot and Dr P. Yukphan from the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) in Thailand. The senior author was Prof. Y. Yamada, Professor Emeritus at Shizuoka University at the town of Shizuoka in Japan.

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