At this event, invited guests from academia will be given a presentation on the Holberg Prize, and Laureate Michael Cook will deliver a lecture on the theme “How to Achieve Mass Literacy Without Really Trying." Cook will focus on three tribal peoples in remote regions of the world—two of them Muslim—who historically have had surprisingly widespread literacy in scripts of their own.
Michael Cook is Class of 1943 University Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. As a historian of religion, Cook is one of the today’s leading experts on the history and religious thought of Islam. In 2014, when Cook received the Holberg Prize, the Holberg Committee cited how he has “reshaped fields that span Ottoman studies, the genesis of early Islamic polity, the history of the Wahhabiyya movement, and Islamic law, ethics, and theology.”