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Cor Unum 2024 Kicks Off With Two Visiting Authors

Cor Unum 2024 Kicks Off With Two Visiting Authors

Convent & Stuart Hall's 6th annual Cor Unum visiting author program kicked off at the start of March with visits from Minh Le and Maxine Hong Kingston. Read more and view photos from their visits to campus.

Annually at Convent & Stuart Hall, a week in spring is dedicated as Cor Unum Week. The time is set aside to learn from visiting authors and draw attention to a topic that allows K–12 students to engage in expansive dialogue and collective engagement. This year’s Cor Unum programming extends beyond a single week, with visits beginning in early March and the final visiting author, Pico Iyer, joining us in April.

Here are some of the highlights and photos from last week’s Cor Unum visiting authors. Learn more about the authors and their works in the Library Research Guides

Minh Le

Photo of author Minh Le speaking to a group of Stuart Hall for Boys students. Photo by Ryan Magee. See the full album.

Minh Le kicked off the 2024 Cor Unum programming with his visit to campus on Monday, March 4. His visit started with an engaging read aloud with students in Kindergarten and first grade. Later that morning, Mr. Le gathered with grades 2–4 in the Syufy Theater, where he held an interactive read aloud of his books Lift and Drawn Together. The compelling reading was interspersed by a lively exchange of questions and answers with the students. He shared some of the underlying ideas behind the books and offered a preview of his upcoming publication, Built to Last. Next, Mr. Le led an afternoon workshop with fifth graders. He read Drawn Together and walked students through the steps that go into creating a graphic novel. With the help of Mr. Le’s creative guidance, students then had time to work on their own stories and characters.


Maxine Hong Kingston

Photo of author Maxine Hong Kingston speaking to High School students in Syufy Theatre. Photo by Claire Carlander. See the full album.

The Cor Unum programming continued the following day, March 5, with a day-long visit from Maxine Hong Kingston. For her first event of the day, she joined high school students in a packed Syufy Theater for a presentation and Q&A. She spoke about her experiences growing up, reading excerpts from The Woman Warrior and drawing connections to her relationships with her classmates and her father. Sharing excerpts from The Fifth Book of Peace, Ms. Kingston also shed light on her writing and thought processes, specifically in the context of her activism for nonviolence during the Vietnam War. The presentation was followed by student and faculty questions, ranging from literary questions to broader inquiries about advice for young writers. In response, Ms. Kingston shared: “Write something every day, even if it is just one word.”

Later that morning, Ms. Kingston led a small class in the Williams Library for a select group of 10th graders. In preparation, the selected students (by application and self-nomination) read one of Maxine Hong Kingston’s foundational works, China Men or Woman Warrior. In the class, Ms. Kingston pulled from her texts to discuss history, ancestry and her remarkable life. Students examined literary devices and the craft of writing as reflected in Ms. Kingston’s skilled weaving of mythology and history. She revealed the ways her unique blend of fiction, nonfiction and memoir strategically protected her family from the scrutiny of immigration authorities and discussed the historical experiences of Chinese American people more broadly. She ended her visit with a compelling evening talk with the adult community.