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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

Wayde keeps winning off the track
2016-11-24

Description: 'Accolades Wayde Tags: Accolades Wayde

Wayde van Niekerk won an accolade as the
best male athlete at the Olympic Games in
Rio de Janeiro. He received the award at the
Association of National Olympic Committees
awards.
Photo: Johan Roux.

Although Wayde van Niekerk hasn’t competed in several months, the golden boy still keeps winning off the track. The 400 m Olympic champion has been shining ever since his feat at the Olympic Games, with awards such as the best male athlete in Rio de Janeiro.

Nominated for IAAF and SA Sports Awards

He is also a finalist for the 2016 IAAF World Athlete of the Year and has been nominated for three awards (Sport Star of the Year, Sportsman of the Year, and the People’s Choice Award) at the South African Sports Awards. The IAAF winner will be announced on 2 December 2016 in Monaco and the SA Sports Awards take place on 27 November 2016 in Bloemfontein.

The athlete from the University of the Free State is one of six nominees – three male and three female – for the IAAF award. The high jumper Hestrie Cloete (2003) is the only South African who has won this award.

Van Niekerk won all three above-mentioned awards at the SA Sports Awards in 2015. Tannie Ans Botha, his coach, is nominated as Coach of the Year.

Accolades keep rolling in for Kovsie star

Van Niekerk’s performance in Rio, where he won the 400 m in a world-record time of 43,03 seconds, resulted in him being chosen as the best male athlete at the Association of National Olympic Committees awards on 15 November 2016 in Doha, Qatar.

The 24-year-old Kovsie has also received numerous other accolades in 2016. He was KovsieSport’s Sportsman of the Year for a fourth consecutive year and received an Ambassador’s Award at the Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumni Awards. Botha was given an Executive Management Award at the same function.

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