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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

Achieve academic goals with an online presence
2016-11-02

Description: Academic Reboot Pack 2.0    Tags: Academic Reboot Pack 2.0

The Academic Reboot Pack 2.0 of the
University of the Free State introduces
an online academic approach to help
students complete the 2016 academic
year.
Photo: iStock

With the recent break in the academic activities at most of the countries’ universities, higher education managers are pressured to come up with ways of completing the rest of the 2016 academic year.

An approach introduced by the University of the Free State (UFS), is the use of online learning platforms.

For the remainder of the year, students will be required to do the majority of their work online. To support students during this time, the UFS has created an Academic Reboot Pack 2.0, which included #8 Habits of Highly successful online students.  

Stay informed and prioritise your work

Make the online environment the top priority in your daily schedules. Be extra vigilant in your studies and use online learning platforms such as Blackboard to check your modules for new announcements and academic information.

You will also need to prioritise between important and less important tasks. This will give you an indication as to which tasks to focus on first.

Optimise your environment and work until you achieve goals

You need to optimise your study environment in a space where you can be productive and study efficiently. Continue working until you have achieved your goals, but also remember to reward yourself when you have reached them.

Staying organised

Remember, you need to stay organised and declutter your environment. It will be best to create a filing system for your paper-based notes, as well as the electronic files on your computer.

Get study buddies and keep a healthy body and mind

Get study buddies as this provides a good opportunity to share knowledge. If you are not sure about something, contact your lecturers via email or on their office numbers.

Lastly, keep a healthy body and mind because you will need to keep going a little longer than anticipated this year.

Get your copy of the Academic Reboot Pack 2.0 on Blackboard under announcements or click here to download it.

 Also see the first Academic Reboot Pack.

If students have any question or queries regarding the Academic Reboot Pack 2.0, they can send an email to: advising@ufs.ac.za

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