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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

Two Kovsies in SA Netball team for World Student Games
2016-04-18

Description: Lauren-Lee Read More Tags: Lauren-Lee Read More

Lauren-Lee Christians became the 12th Protea from the University of the Free State in 2015. She will play for the South African Universities Netball team in America during July.
Photo: SASPA

Two students from the University of the Free State (UFS), Lauren-Lee Christians and Karla Mostert, were selected for the South African Universities Netball team.

The team, with eight Proteas in its ranks, will be in action at the World Student Games in Miami, USA, from 13 to 17 July 2016.

Among the criteria for selection is that participants should not be older than 27 years in 2016, and they should have been students last year.

The South Africans, who came in second during the inaugural tournament in Cape Town four years ago, will be difficult to beat this time. A total of 12 countries will compete for the title of student champions.

Mostert part of previous successful team

Mostert was one of five Kovsies playing for this team in 2012, when South Africa lost 49-53 to Britain in the final. This came after the score was even at the end of regular play.

Mostert was also one of the two best players for the Proteas at the World Cup last year. Christians just missed out, and had to be content with being a non-travelling substitute after she became the 12th Protea of the UFS earlier in 2015.

Four from UFS in Cucsa squad

Meanwhile, four other of their teammates - Rieze Straeuli, Tanya Mostert, Kgomotso Mamburu, and Alicia Puren - were included in a provisional squad of 15 players to compete for the South African student team at the Cucsa Games (Southern African Student Games). This squad will soon be reduced to the 12 players who will represent their country in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, from 1 to 6 August.

No Protea can be selected for this student team. A fifth Kovsie, the goal shooter, Dénielle van der Merwe, was also selected for the initial squad, but had to withdraw due to a serious leg injury.


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