Dr. William Cook will speak on "Dante's Other Guide: St. Francis of Assisi" in this installment of the Friday Academic Lecture Series. Dr. Cook is a Distinguished Professor at SUNY Geneseo, is a medieval historian with a concentration in the history of the Church and particular expertise in life and work of St. Francis of Assisi and Dante Alighieri. Throughout his career, Dr. Cook has done extensive research in Italy, where he has also conducted numerous NEH seminars for high school, college, and university teachers. He is the winner of several teaching awards, and a festschrift has been recently published in his honor, entitled The World of St. Francis of Assisi. Early in his career, Dr. Cook converted to Catholicism, largely through his study of St. Francis. Dr. Cook's reputation rose to international recognition in 1999, with the publication of Images of St. Francis of Assisi, the culmination of twenty years of research, which was followed in 2005 by Art of the Franciscan Order in Italy. Dr. Cook is also known to many through the several courses he has recorded for The Great Courses, on such subjects as the life of St. Francis, Dante’s Divine Comedy, St. Augustine’s Confessions, and Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. Retired since 2012, Dr. Cook has established The Bill Cook Foundation, whose mission is the education of children in some of the poorest areas of the world. These efforts have taken Dr. Cook to such remote areas as Papua New Guinea, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Dr. Cook's talk is sponsored by the CORE Lecture Series.