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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

New facility helps with better clinical training
2012-09-06

 
The new Authentic Learning Space at the School of Nursing allows students to practice very important skills in their state-of-the-art patient simulation rooms.
Photo: Supplied.
4 September 2012

When you visit the School of Nursing at the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS), you will be alarmed by all the casualties and patients being treated here daily.

There are patients with serious penetration wounds, as well as open and laceration wounds which could be fatal if not attended to urgently.

In one ward a child is being treated for breathing difficulties and in the emergency ward a patient who suffered a heart attack has just been rushed in.

At the end of the session students pack up their textbooks and the ‘patients’ are re-programmed and prepared for the next group of nursing students to practice their clinical skills.

The School of Nursing recently had the official opening for their Authentic Learning Space where they showcased their state-of-the-art patient simulation rooms.

In each of the many examining rooms as well as in the high-care rooms there are simulation mannequins that can be programmed for certain medical conditions or for medical emergencies.

Speaking at the opening of the Authentic Learning Space, Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Academic, said universities are often accused of not preparing students adequately for their careers.

“We know students learn better by interaction. With access to authentic learning spaces, students are able to gain a deeper sense of a discipline and they can begin to grasp the unwritten knowledge of practice that is often used on a daily basis.”

 

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