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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

Student Bursary Fund Campaign launched: #FundAFuture and make a difference
2016-04-25

Description: Fund a Future logo Tags: Fund a Future

“The single most important investment any country can make is in its people.” – National Development Plan 2030


Video
Student Bursary Fund Campaign booklet (pdf)
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South Africa’s National Development Plan states that universities play a key role in developing our nation. The cost of higher education, though, hinders most of our youth from transcending their circumstances.

In order to help increase the amount of lives transformed through higher education, the University of the Free State (UFS) launched the nation-wide Student Bursary Fund Campaign on Thursday 3 March 2016 in Cape Town.

“I believe the best way to break the cycle of poverty in South African families is to ensure that talented first-generation students gain access to high-quality university degree training,” says Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.

Student Bursary Fund Campaign

The campaign aims to raise R100 m to fund talented, deserving students who do not have the financial means to obtain a university degree.

“Championing the Student Bursary Fund Campaign,” Prof Jansen says,“is not only a professional quest, but a deeply personal one for me. The university and I cannot do this alone, though. We need your support and generosity to change the landscape of our youth’s future.”

Your support is crucial

Can your contribution make a difference in a country – a world – filled with need? The answer resonates in the life of each student that has obtained a degree by means of funding.

The impact of your financial support reaches far beyond its monetary value. It pulls families from poverty. It sends forth experts and visionaries into the world. It sets in motion a culture of giving.

It irrevocably changes the futures of individuals, of communities, and ultimately of our country.

Contributions

Each contribution will bring us closer to our goal of R100 m.
Contributions can be deposited into the following account:
ABSA
Account number: 157 085 0721
Branch code: 632 005
Branch name: Business Bank - Bloemfontein
Swift code: ABSAZAJJ

For enquiries or further information:

T: +27(0)51 401 3966 | E: FundAFuture@ufs.ac.za | www.ufs.ac.za

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