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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

Businessmen based in Gauteng visited Campus
2006-05-10

A group of prominent businessmen based in Gauteng visited the Main Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) as part of a project to build relationships and to introduce them to the UFS. 

At the back from the left are Mr Vuyo Jack (chief executive officer and founder of Empowerdex), Dr Ezekiel Moraka (Vice-Rector: Student Affairs at the UFS), Mr Mavuso Msimang (chief executive officer of the  State Information Technology Agency (SITA)), and Mr Peter Malungani (chairman of PEU Investments). In front are Prof Magda Fourie (Vice-Rector: Academic Planning at the UFS), Mr Moss Mashishi (chairman of Matemuku Investments), Prof Frederick Fourie (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS), Mr Moses Kgosana (chairman of KPMG) and Mr Quentin Eister (chief executive officer of Interstate Bus Lines and chairman of the Black Management Forum in the Free State). 
 

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