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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

Confirmation of the security arrangements on the Bloemfontein and South Campuses for the week
2016-02-29

As communicated yesterday, please receive confirmation of the security arrangements:

The Bloemfontein Campus is secure and we have more than doubled the security arrangements, with the interdict firmly in place.

The university management condemns in the strongest possible terms the violence that took place at Xerox Shimla Park on the night of Monday 22 February 2016. It also condemns the disruptions of the university that followed Monday’s event, which resulted in the suspension of academic and administrative activities on the Bloemfontein Campus. In line with the terms of the interdict - and now that we are at full capacity to secure this very large and spread-out campus - the university will act swiftly and firmly if any protests or disruption recur.

The following security arrangements are in place:
1.  Staff and students must have their staff and student cards with them when entering the campus. Passengers in motor vehicles will have to present their cards to security personnel before access could be granted. Security personnel will check this physically by verifying that each person has a valid staff or student card.

2.  Buses will not be allowed to enter the campus and passengers will have to be dropped off outside the gates - passengers will enter through the turnstiles with their valid access cards. Anyone without a valid access card will have to go to the Visitors Centre and present positive proof of ID (SA ID, passport or driver’s licence).

3.  Pedestrians will have to swipe their cards at the turnstiles at the gates. Those without cards will have to enter through the Visitors Centre by presenting positive proof of ID (SA ID, passport or driver’s licence).

4.  Visitors must report to the Visitors Centre (at Gate 5 in DF Malherbe Drive) and present positive proof of ID (SA ID, passport or driver’s licence).

5.  Due to anticipated delays, it is advised that people allow some additional time when planning their routes to campus and to also make use of the less busy gates, such as Gate 4 (Furstenburg Road) and Gate 2 (Roosmaryn Residence).

6.  It is advised that walkways be used, especially at night, and that pedestrians should keep to areas that are well lit.

Security helpline: +27(0)51 401 2911 | +27(0)51 401 2634.

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