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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

UFS Faculty of Health Sciences celebrates its newly qualified doctors
2016-12-09

Description: MBChB final-year students  Tags: MBChB final-year students  

The UFS medical students who obtained their
qualifications Cum Laude are: front row: Dr Madeli Jonker,
Dr Corli Leonard, Dr Jacques Kok, Dr Kelly Fuller.
Back row: Dr Henco Nel, Dr Dan Holmberg,
Dr Rikus Hoogenboezem and Dr Ben van Niekerk.
Photo: Marie-Louise du Toit


“Kovsies’ doctors stand out. They go the extra mile. Go out there and be a true representative of Kovsies’ servanthood.” These were the words of Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, at the annual function that was held by the School of Medicine for final-year medical students.

The function celebrates students who have obtained their MB ChB degrees, becoming qualified doctors. Prof Van Zyl went on to congratulate the students for thriving in a difficult year.  “From today onwards, your degrees are in the bag, and nobody can take that away from you,” said Prof Van Zyl.

Class of 2016 praised for their tenacity

A total of 116 students obtained the qualifications, and were acknowledged as the class that showed the most tenacity, commitment and dedication to their studies. Nine students obtained their MB ChB qualifications Cum Laude. The medical students will be graduating at the UFS Summer Graduations on 8 December 2016.

Henco Nel, Michael Linström, and Daniel Holmberg were recognised as the best overall performing students in the class of 2016. Nel received prizes for best student in the departments of Urology and Orthopaedic Surgery; Linström walked away with awards from the departments of Anaesthesiology, Family Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and Holmberg in Internal Medicine, and Paediatrics and Child Health.

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