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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

#FaceOfFacebook 2016/2017
2016-04-29

Kovsies #FaceOfFacebook was initiated from the need to communicate with students, thus becoming a virtual friend. Annual auditions are held to choose the new face representing the UFS on Facebook. The successful candidate holds the title of #FaceOfFacebook for the next 12 months, attending events, and filming short video clips to post on our Facebook page. In effect, the #FaceOfFacebook is not only an important spokesperson, but a proud Kovsie ambassador as well. At the end of their reign, they receive a recommendation letter and portfolio of their work.

 

Here are our top five contestants (in no particular order):

  • Jet'aime Pond

  • Tshwaro Thothela

  • Mbulelo Siyoko

  • Ingrid Wentzel

  • Reuben Davids

 

The next phase of our #FaceOfFacebook auditions involves you. In the words of one of our contestants: "I need your vote ... Like this post, share and go tell your friends about it."

 

Go to the UFS Facebook page to view the videos of our Top Five contestants, and like your favourite. Each like will count as a vote, and the person with the most votes at the closing time will be declared the winner. You will need to be a registered Facebook user to vote.

 

The deadline for voting is 6 May 2016 at 16:00.

 

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