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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

Perhaps a Kovsie to wear the Miss SA crown?
2014-02-11


Rolene Strauss and Dipalesa Mbola, two of our students, in the top 12 of this illustrious beauty contest

Two Kovsie students, Rolene Strauss and Dipalesa Mbola, will be on stage when Miss South Africa 2014 is crowned on 30 March 2014. After gruelling elimination rounds, they will ultimately be competing with ten other young women for the prestigious title at Sun City.

It is the second time Rolene will be up on stage at Sun City for this event that will be broadcast to over a million people. She was in the top five of the competition in 2011. Dipalesa Mbola, a Business Management student, is making her debut at the competition this year.

Follow Rolene and Dipalesa’s experiences in the reality programme The Road to Miss South Africa, Sundays at 17:30 on Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161).

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