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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

Seasoned international pianist appointed at the OSM
2016-02-05

Description: Dr Grethe Nöthling Tags: Dr Grethe Nöthling

Dr Grethe Nöthling

The Odeion School of Music is delighted to welcome Dr Grethe Nöthling as a new member of its dynamic performance faculty.

Dr Nöthling has been appointed as principal piano lecturer. She has won several national music competitions, and is the recipient of numerous awards and bursaries, including the University of South Africa overseas scholarship for teachers in 2003.

Musician and pedagogue par excellence

From 1989 to 2005, Dr Nöthling performed as soloist with all major South African Symphony Orchestras. She obtained a Bachelor of Music Degree (magna summa cum laude), specialising in Performance from the University of Pretoria under the tutelage of Professors Ella Fourie and Joseph Stanford.

She furthered her studies in the United States of America at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she received a Master’s of Music Degree in 2008 under the guidance of Daniel Shapiro and Paul Schenly.

Dr Nöthling obtained a Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree (2014) from the University of Iowa (UI) in the USA under Professor Uriel Tsachor. During her studies at the U of I, she was awarded a teaching assistantship, and performed with the university’s New Music Ensemble. During a ten-year residency in the USA, she has performed extensively as both soloist and chamber musician.

Inspiration for aspiring musicians

“It is my hope to be an inspiration for young and upcoming musicians both as pedagogue and performing artist. In order to consider the unique gifts and challenges of every individual student, I am of the opinion that is imperative to be very flexible and adjustable from a methodological and musical perspective,” said Dr Nöthling.

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