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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 SIFE is the best in SA!
2004-07-09

The SIFE team celebrates their victory with Jack Shewmaker, founder of SIFE in 1975 and past-president of Walmart in the USA, and Moses Kgosana, Chairman of KPMG SA.

The Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team of the University of the Free State competed in the National SIFE championships on Thursday, June 17, 2004 at Ceasar’s Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Strong competition was experienced from the other ten participant SA universities, e.g. the Universities of the Western Cape, Kwazulu-Natal, Cape Town and RAU, but die UFS SIFE team retained the national championship for the third year running.

The team will now represent South Africa and the University of the Free State in Barcelona, Spain at die SIFE World Cup. The competition will be held from 22 to 24 September 2004.

The presentation team members for the competition were Tsholofelo Tlhomelang, Imameleng Matete, Kenneth Lefa, Kabelo Lephaka, Nadia van Staden, Tshepo Mahloko (Multi-Media), Werner Schmidt (Faculty Advisor). Supporting the presentation team were Lineo Peete, Keketso Ntene, Ruth Morienyane, Motaung Mathaba, Tshireletso Seekoe, Peter Letsoalo, Obakeng Msuthwana, Tshepiso Lebentle, JC Langeveldt and Michelle Stanley.

SIFE is a world-wide non-profit organisation with the express aim of encouraging students to spread their business knowledge - gained in the classroom - to the community, to promote and expand the principles of free enterprise.( www.sife.org )

The criteria by which SIFE-projects are measured are the following:

• How free markets work in the global economy.
• How entrepreneurs succeed by identifying a market need and then profitably producing and marketing a product or service to fill that need.
• The personal entrepreneurial, communications, technology and financial management skills needed to successfully compete.
• Practicing business in an ethical and socially responsible manner that supports the principles of a market economy.
• Measuring the results of projects, utilizing mass media and the Internet, involving non-business majors and utilizing a Business Advisory Board, communicating the program through a written report and verbal presentation.

The UFS’ SIFE-team’s presentation complied with all the above mentioned criteria. SIFE UFS’ education drive stretched from primary school learners, to adults who had been working for thirty years – this diverse group was taught about the free market system and its value in the global village. Business ethics and basic business principles were communicated in a fun and interactive way to learners. High-level business advice was given to entrepreneurs who started new projects, e.g. a brick-maker, and marketing advice were given to existing businesses in need of expansion.

If you are interested in helping SIFE UFS achieve its goals, e-mail Werner Schmidt at
schmidtw.ekw@mail.uovs.ac.za or phone him at 051 – 401 3376.

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