Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
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

Qwaqwa Campus launches transdisciplinary Afromontane Research Unit
2015-06-09

Dr Dipane Hlalele, Assistant Dean in the Faculty of Education on the Qwaqwa Campus; Dr Anofi Ashafa, Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences on the Qwaqwa Campus; Prof Corli Witthuhn, Vice-Rector: Research; Prof Sechaba Mahlomaholo, Dean in the Faculty of Education; Dr Geofrey Mukwada, Head of the Department of Geography; Dr Aliza le Roux, Head of the Department of Zoology and Entomology; Prof Prakash Naidoo, Campus Principal and Dr Elsa Crause, Academic Head on the Qwaqwa Campus.

The Qwaqwa Campus of the University of the Free State in the Eastern Free State boasts of one of the most beautiful and distinctive surroundings that will play a crucial role in fostering research in the under-researched area of the montane communities. This was revealed during the recent launch of the Afromontane Research Unit (ARU), the UFS flagship transdisciplinary research programme.

“This flagship programme has been in the making for about four years as our Qwaqwa Campus is set in a very interesting, unique, and mountainous place. The programme gained the momentum when the National Research Foundation (NRF) challenged each university to come up with their own single niche research area that would give them a unique research identity”, Prof Corli Witthuhn, Vice-Rector: Research, said during the launch.

”The Unit will develop the campus’s research capacity as we have already seen a huge increase in the research outputs by Qwaqwa staff. The campus already has seven scholars in the Vice-Chancellor's Prestige Scholars Programme (PSP), and there is notable excitement here. The Afromontane Research Unit will add to that research excitement as well”, she added.

Prof Witthuhn revealed that an application for the funding of the ARU had already been submitted to the NRF, and a positive response was awaited.

The PSP is an accelerated scholarship of junior UFS researchers in their first five years post-PhD. The prestige scholars participate in an intensive programme of support that includes international placement and intensive mentoring.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept