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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

Business Management students scoop Tata Africa Scholarship awards
2016-12-09

Description: Tata Africa Tags: Tata Africa 

From left: Mr Harneet Luther, Nomcebo Langa
(first-place winner), Palesa Makhetha and Dr Johan van Zyl.

Tata Africa celebrated the class of 2016 of the Department of Business Management at the University of the Free State (UFS) on 1 December 2016 on the Bloemfontein Campus. As part of the company’s Postgraduate Scholarship Programme, 11 academically and financially deserving students will have their postgraduate studies sponsored in 2017.

The scholarship programme was initiated by the Department of Business Management in 2012, in collaboration with Tata Africa. The aim is to provide final-year Strategic Marketing students an opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge by developing practical marketing strategies for any one of the Tata Group companies operating in Africa.

Students were invited to present their ideas to a panel of UFS and Tata Africa representatives, who selected the category winners. The categories were for the Tata Bakkies, Jaguar vehicles, Tata Chemicals in Magadi, Kenya, and Land Rover vehicles, intended to enhance the business’ competitive edge. The top three winners were Nomcebo Langa, Internal Marketing; Johan Nel, #OutPaceThis campaign; and Jesse Heath, Entrepreneurial Development campaign.

Topics covered by the students include target market identification, development of practical marketing strategies (digital and traditional), service strategies, experiential campaigns and application design.  The Executive Director of Tata Africa Holdings, Mr Len Brand, said, “In the course of change in Africa and South Africa, in particular, we are very honoured to inspire young minds to bring innovative marketing solutions to the Tata business. We hope that their creativity will also inspire innovations in business, government, and civil society that will ultimately sell South Africa and Africa as good investment destinations.”  

Dr Johan van Zyl from the Centre for Development Support congratulated the winners and encouraged them to continue on the path of augmenting creativity in business. In presenting the awards, Executive Director of Tata Automobile Corporation SA, Mr Harneet Luther, spoke of the origins of the Tata company, its vision and the level of innovation that its founders had, which was necessary in propelling it to where it is today. He commended the students for their outstanding performance and innovative campaigns. Since 2006, over 250 scholarships have been awarded through the University of the Free State, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Wits University.

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