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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

Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) produces 22 graduates
2016-04-26

Description: Lutho Xintolo and mom Tags: Lutho Xintolo and mom

Lutho Xintolo (right) is one of the Centre for Universal Access and Disability Support 2016 graduates. She is currently pursuing her Honours in Psychology.
Photo: Supplied

Once again, the University of the Free State (UFS) hosted a successful series of graduations from 12-15 April 2016 where 3681 students were conferred qualifications at the Bloemfontein Campus. Among those graduating were 22 students who are affiliated with the university’s Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS).

Some of these students included Zingisa Ngwenya, who is currently busy with her second degree; Grant Lombaard, Zanele Morerwa, and Lutho Xintolo, all of whom are pursuing their Honours degrees. Louzanne Coetzee, a visually-impaired international champion athlete, was awarded a Communication: Corporate Marketing Honours degree this autumn. “We have five athletes and a cyclist with disabilities, amongst our students who are of world-class standard,” said Martie Miranda, Head of the Center.

The Center assists students to gain access to study courses, buildings, and lecture venues, learning material such as Braille, audio, enlarged print, and E-text, computer facilities with assistive technology and software and adapted hardware, and a specialised examination and test venue for alternative test and exam procedures,” Miranda added.

Students with disabilities who enrol with CUADS receive support according to their individual needs from registration through to graduation.  “During this process we identify challenges experienced in their administrative, academic, support, student life, and physical environments, and then address these challenges,” Miranda said.

Support provided by the Center includes amanuenses and extra time during tests and exams according to the student’s specific needs, (as determined through evaluation by the Extra Time Panel), together with Student Counselling and Development, academic tutors provided by the New Academic Tutor programme in collaboration with the UFS Centre for Teaching and Learning, and Sign Language interpreters or lip-speakers as well as real-time captioning.

Students with specific learning difficulties, mobility, visual, or hearing impairments, psychological, or other chronic conditions that might have a disabling effect on them, as well as those with temporary impairments, are fully supported by the CUADS. The Center strives to ensure that students achieve their full potential throughout their journey with our university.

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