Scott Newstok and "How to Think Like Shakespeare: Lessons from A Renaissance Education"

Jul 16, 2020

Scott Newstok is a KAXE/KBXE member from Memphis, Tennessee who spends his summers in northern MN.  He's also a  professor of English and founding director of the Pearce Shakespeare Endowment at Rhodes College.  A parent and an award-winning teacher, he is the author of Quoting Death in Early Modern England and the editor of several other books.

In his latest book "Think Like Shakespeare" he gives readers an entertaining guide to what he calls the craft of thought.  Our very own staff phenologist John Latimer is mentioned as a good example - his work in phenology is what Scott considers craft, not academic accomplishments. 

Challenging a host of today’s questionable notions about education, Newstok shows how mental play emerges through work, creativity through imitation, autonomy through tradition, innovation through constraint, and freedom through discipline. It was these practices, and a conversation with the past—not a fruitless obsession with assessment—that nurtured a mind like Shakespeare’s. And while few of us can hope to approach the genius of the Bard, we can all learn from the exercises that shaped him.