Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
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

Department of Political Studies and Governance involved in regional seminar on peace and security in Southern Africa
2012-09-26

Attending the Lusaka seminar was from the left: Prof. Hussein Solomon; Prof. Virgil Hawkins from Osaka University and main organiser of the seminar; and Prof. Theo Neethling.
26 September 2012

Two staff members from the Department of Political Studies and Governance, Prof. Hussein Solomon and Prof. Theo Neethling, were recently invited by the Osaka University in Japan to participate in a regional seminar in Lusaka, Zambia, on multinational peacekeeping and peace enforcement in Southern Africa.

The seminar was organised by the Southern African Centre for Collaboration on Peace and Security funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Prof. Solomon presented a paper on the establishment of the Southern African contingent of the African Union’s African Standby Force, while Prof. Neethling presented his paper on United Nations peacekeeping operations in the war-ravaged eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The participation of Prof. Solomon, Senior Professor, and Prof. Neethling, Head of the Department of Political Studies and Governance, comes from a cooperation agreement between Osaka University’s School for International Public Policy (OSIPP) and the Faculty of Humanities at the University of the Free State. The agreement covers issues like joint collaboration projects, the exchange of staff and senior students and joint conferences. One of the key joint areas lay in the Southern African Centre for Peace and Security Studies, a consortium of several Southern African universities with Osaka University and the University of the Free State as its key pillars.

Other universities include the University of Zambia, Zambian Open University, University of Dar es Salaam, Mozambique-Tanzania Centre for Foreign Relations. Academics from other universities in the region, like Nzuzu University in Malawi, University of Botswana, University of South Africa, Stellenbosch University, University of Zimbabwe, are all in the network.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept