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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

Ox Nche to make Kovsies proud in Italy
2015-06-03

 

Shimlas prop, Ox Nche, was included recently in the Junior Springbok squad who will compete in the 2015 World Rugby Under-20 Championships in Italy.

The Junior Boks will kick off their championship when they face the host nation, Italy, at the Stadio San Michele in Calvisano on Tuesday 2 June 2015. Thereafter, the Green and Gold will clash with Samoa on Saturday 6 June 2015, and face their last rivals in Pool B when they play against Australia. The playoffs are scheduled for 15 and 20 June 2015.

Nche was part of the unbeaten Shimlas squad who made history when beating the North-West University Pukke in the 2015 Varsity Cup final. Shortly after the Kovsie victory, Nche was added as a starting player to the Junior Boks side who faced the Varsity Cup Dream Team. He has been the preferred prop ever since.

Nche matriculated at HTS Louis Botha in 2013, and played SA Schools in 2012 and 2013.

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