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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

Nominations awaited for UFS Alumni awards
2006-10-12

Nominations are awaited for the University of the Free State’s (UFS) annual Kovsie alumni awards, namely the Kovsie Alumnus of the Year, the Cum-Laude Award and the Alumni Award for Exceptional Service to the UFS.

The Kovsie Alumnus of the Year Award honours the outstanding achievements of a Kovsie alumnus on national or international level.  Last year Mr Naka Drotské was appointed as Kovsie of the Year for the way in which he led the Cheetah Rugby Team.

The Cum Laude Award is occasionally bestowed on an alumnus for outstanding service or achievement on regional, national or international level in his/her field of work.  Mr Harold Verster (President of the Free State Rugby Union) received the Cum Laude Award last year.

The Alumni Award for Outstanding Service to the UFS is occasionally made to any person (not necessarily an alumnus) who delivered exceptional service to the university.  The award was made last year to Prof Johan Henning, Dean: Faculty of Law at the UFS.

 A written nomination for the awards can be submitted by any alumnus. The nomination must be seconded by at least five other alumni and be accompanied by a comprehensive motivation and a brief curriculum vitae of the candidate. The candidate’s complete address and telephone number must also be provided.

Nominations can be submitted by post to Ms Annanda Fick or Mr Lucas Radebe, Alumni Awards, PO Box 2319, Bloemfontein, 9300 or faxed to (051) 401 3758. The closing date for submission of nominations is 3 November 2006.  Enquiries can be directed to Ms Fick at (051) 401 3382 or Mr Radebe at (051) 401 3751.

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

 

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