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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 has a contingency plan for load shedding
2008-02-13


The University of the Free State (UFS) has put in place a contingency plan to ensure that there is minimal disruption to the normal academic operations of its Main Campus in Bloemfontein whenever load shedding occurs.

The plan includes alternative arrangements for certain lectures that fall within the load-shedding schedule provided by Centlec, the emergency power generation for certain lecture halls and buildings, as well as the functioning of the UFS Sasol Library. This is in addition to emergency power equipment that has already been ordered for the larger lecture-hall complexes.

Fortunately, the Qwaqwa Campus has adequate emergency power generation capacity. The situation on the Vista Campus in Bloemfontein is being monitored, but the same guidelines will apply as on the Main Campus.

On the Main Campus in Bloemfontein the following alternative arrangements regarding the timetable for evening classes will come into effect when load shedding occurs:

  • An alternative module and venue timetable has been compiled so that classes that cannot take place on weekdays as a result of load shedding can be accommodated on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Classes that are presented in the timeslot 18:10 to 21:00 on Thursdays are alternatively accommodated in the same venues at the same times on a Friday.
  • Classes that take place in the timeslot 20:10 to 22:00 on Wednesdays are alternatively accommodated in the timeslot 08:10 to 12:00 on Saturdays, in a few cases in different venues from those scheduled initially.
  • After consultation with students, lecturers will decide whether the alternative timetable will apply when load shedding does indeed occur or whether the alternative timetable will be a permanent arrangement.

Some other steps that have been taken regarding the functioning of lecture halls include:

  • The design and installation of emergency power equipment in all the large lecture-hall complexes within the next few months. This includes the Examination Centre, Flippie Groenewoud Building, the Stabilis and Genmin lecture halls.
  • The ordering of a larger generator for the Agriculture Building to simultaneously provide essential research equipment such as refrigerators, ovens and glasshouses with emergency power.
  • An investigation into the optimal utilisation of present emergency power installations.
    The purchasing of loose standing equipment such as battery lights, uninterruptible power supplies, loose-standing generators, etc.

The UFS Sasol Library will continue as normal as far as possible though there may be some minor changes as a result of load shedding. The library has an emergency generator that will be used in the event of load shedding to allow students and other users to exit the library. If load shedding occurs during daylight hours, the library will remain open with limited services. If the load shedding occurs after 6 pm (18:00), all users will be allowed to exit and the library will remain closed until the next day.

A comprehensive investigation into the university’s preparedness for and management of long term power interruptions is also receiving attention.

More information on the contingency plan for load shedding can be obtained from the UFS website at www.ufs.ac.za/loadshedding.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za
13 February 2008


 

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