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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

Nutrition congress to be held at the UFS
2012-09-21

About 1 000 experts, researchers, nutritionists and policy makers in nutrition and feeding from all over Africa and some abroad will gather at the University of the Free State for the Nutrition Congress Africa 2012.

This congress will take place at the Bloemfontein Campus from 1 to 4 October 2012 where various national and international experts will deliver presentations on the latest research and developments on nutrition and dietetics in Africa.

The Nutrition Congress Africa 2012 is a joint scientific meeting of the 24th congress of the Nutrition Society of South Africa, the 12th congress of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa and the 5th African Nutrition Epidemiology Congress .

The theme for the congress is “Transforming the Nutrition Landscape in Africa” and it motivates nutrition experts and scientists to take action and apply knowledge and skills to improve nutrition in Africa.

Plenary, as well as five parallel sessions will be presented over four days,  covering  topics which include amongst others addressing poverty and food insecurity, food regulatory and labelling issues, the food industry, HIV and nutrition, the sports nutrition industry, nutritional management of renal and GI-related diseases, food security, maternal and infant nutrition.

“We believe that working together as nutrition experts will strengthen professional networks and allow us to share expertise and exchange experiences to the benefit of all,” says Dr Ronette Lategan, chairperson of the Nutrition 2012 congress and lecturer at the UFS’ Department of Nutrition and Dietetics.

“Nutrition is a fast developing science and a wide spectrum of topics with the latest research and developments will be included in the programme.

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