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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

UFS exceeds record at spring graduation ceremony
2006-09-11

The University of the Free State (UFS) will award 1 048 degrees and diplomas to students from the Vista and Main campuses this year during the spring graduation ceremony.  This is 163 more degrees and diplomas than last year.  

Due to the increase in numbers, this year’s spring graduation ceremony will be held over two days.  In the past degrees and diplomas were awarded in one day.

Altogether, 606 degrees, 413 diplomas and 29 doctorates will be awarded.  The diploma ceremony will take place on Wednesday 13 September 2006 at 14:30 and the graduation ceremonies will take place on Thursday 14 September 2006 at 08:30 and 14:30.

On Thursday 14 September 2006 at 08:30, 176 degrees and 9 doctorates will be awarded in the Faculty of Humanities, 48 degrees and 1 doctorate in the Faculty of Health Sciences, 29 degrees and 2 doctorates in the Faculty of Law and 7 degrees in the Faculty of Theology.  

At 14:30 that same day 198 degrees and 1 doctorate will be awarded in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences and 148 degrees and 16 doctorates in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.

Both ceremonies will be presented in the Callie Human Centre on the Main Campus.  

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel:  (051) 401-2584
Cell:  083 645 2454
E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za 
8 September 2006

 

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