Shakespeare expert and published author Dr. Scott Newstok – the 2020 Sophie Kerr Visiting Scholar – will deliver a live virtual lecture titled “How to Think Like Shakespeare” on Monday, October 19. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Newstok will be discussing his current book, How to Think Like Shakespeare: Lessons from a Renaissance Education. The book distills vital habits of mind that can help you think more deeply, write more effectively and learn more joyfully – in school or beyond. Sarah Bakewell, author of How to Live: Or a Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer, offers this praise, “Scott Newstok’s book, a playful delight, also delivers a serious pedagogical punch.”

The recently published work brings the topics of Shakespeare and the liberal arts education together, using concepts from Renaissance education. In addition to being considered an expert in Shakespeare, Newstok is also a liberal arts educator.  He teaches literature of the English Renaissance as well as film, rhetoric, education, lyric poetry, and the humanities at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, where he is also the Founding Director of the Pearce Shakespeare Endowment.

Attendees should register in advance using this link:  The lecture is scheduled for Monday, October 15 at 5 PM.

This event is sponsored by the Sophie Kerr Endowment and the English Department. Dr. Newstok is the 2020 Sophie Kerr Visiting Scholar.

In addition to this lecture, Newstok will also be meeting with Washington College English majors in the department’s Junior Seminar, team-taught by Dr. Alisha Knight and Dr. Sean Meehan, to continue the discussion and talk with students about current issues in Shakespeare scholarship.

Newstok is a graduate of Grinnell College and Harvard University.  He has published books on Kenneth Burke’s Shakespeare criticism, early modern English epitaphs, a collection of essays on Macbeth and race (co-edited with Ayanna Thompson), and most recently, How to Think Like Shakespeare: Lessons from a Renaissance Education (Princeton University Press, 2020).

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at