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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

Kovsies successfully host USSA Football Club Championships
2016-04-13

Description: 2016 04 12 KL Soccer Tags: Kovsies successfully host USSA Football Club Championships
Kovsies and Tshwane University of Technology in action at the University Sport South Africa Football Club Championships.
Photo: Charl Devenish

All 30 teams fought fiercely for their positions at the University Sport South Africa (USSA) Football Club Championships 2015 Tournament, held at the University of the Free State. The tournament was meant to be hosted here in Bloemfontein last year, but was re-scheduled for 21-25 March 2016. The University of Pretoria became champions in the men’s section, while the women’s trophy found a home at the University of the Western Cape.

Of the15 institutions taking part in the men’s section, Kovsies emerged at number 11. Our women’s team took the number seven spot among the 14 contenders.

KovsieSoccer coach, Godfrey Tenoff, was impressed with the women’s team. “Our girls outperformed themselves, given that we had only 15 players when we started the tournament, and ended up with 10 who were intact. They were absolutely phenomenal. We never lost in the group matches. The strength of the group enabled us to qualify for the Varsity Football competition.”

On the other hand, the performance of the men’s team was less impressive. “It’s disappointing that we did not produce the kind of performance needed for big competitions, although we had the best team. We are number one in the SAB League, yet some players are lacking the big match temperament,” he said.

However, there is still hope for better scores. The forthcoming Vodacom Cup and the USSA Championships taking place later this year are an opportunity to improve.

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