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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

Spring graduation ceremony
2006-09-15

A three-year old boy from Welkom, Kearabetswe Mokoena, stole the show at the spring graduation ceremony of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein. He was dressed in an exact replica of the academic outfit worn by his father, Mr Ketseletso Mokoena, who obtained his LLB degree from the UFS. The outfit was made by Kearabetswe’s mother Mrs Ennie Mokoena. From the left are Mr Mokoena, his son Kearabetswe, and Prof Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS.
Photo:  Lacea Loader

 

Prof Mos Thulare (acting Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the Central University of Technology) obtained his LL.B. degree during the spring graduation ceremony of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein.  On the photo, he is congratulated by Prof Frederick Fourie (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS).
Photo:  Stephen Collett

 

Altogether five master's degrees in Physics were awarded during the University of the Free State's (UFS) spring graduation ceremony in Bloemfontein.  It is the biggest group of master's degrees in the history of the UFS Department of Physics awarded during a graduation ceremony.  From the left are:  Richard Harris, Puleng Ramoshebi, Prof Hendrik Swart (Head of the UFS Department of Physics), Lisa Coetsee and Etienne Wurth.  One of the students, Gerhard Olivier, was absent when the photo was taken.
Photo: Lacea Loader
 

Altogether 29 doctorates were awarded during the University of the Free State's (UFS) spring graduation ceremony in Bloemfontein.  Some of the doctorandi are from the left:  Drs Nicholas Mtshali (Chemistry),  Candice Jansen van Rensburg (Zoology), Ina Claassens (Physics),  Martin Ntwaeaborwa (Physics) and Vicki Tolmay (Plant Breeding).
Photo:  Lacea Loader
 

A great number of students from Africa were among the 29 students who received their doctorates during the University of the Free State's (UFS) spring graduation ceremony in Bloemfontein.  From the left are:   Drs Amaha Kassahun (Grassland Science) and Tolessa Debele (Soil Science), both are from Ethiopia.
 

A number of doctorates were awarded to students across the world during the University of the Free State's (UFS) spring graduation ceremony held in Bloemfontein.  From the left are:  Drs Eli Kohn (from  Israel who received a doctorate in Near Eastern Studies), Prof Philip Nel (UFS Department of Afro-asiatic.  Studies, Sign Language and Language Practice), Prof Annette Wilkinson (Centre for Higher Education Studies and Development at the UFS) and Dr Padmanabhan Nair (from India who received a doctorate in Higher Education Studies).  Prof Nel was Dr Kohn's co-promoter and Prof Wilkinson was Dr Nair's promoter.
Photo:  Stephen Collett

 

 

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