Pen Name: None
Clampitt makes her home in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illlinois.
Biographical and Professional Information
Cynthia Clampitt is an award-winning writer and popular speaker, focusing primarily on topics related to food, travel, history, and geography. In addition to being an author and having published more than 500 articles, she has also written for every major educational publisher in the U.S., including the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and National Geographic Learning. For the 2013-2014 season, she was also a “Road Scholar” for the Illinois Humanities Council.
Cynthia contributed major articles to the Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia and World Encyclopedia of Street Food, as well as shorter articles to the Encyclopedia of Chicago Food and Drink. Her book, Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland, is being published by the University of Illinois Press (Feb. 2015), and she is under contract with the University of Iowa for another food history, this one on pigs and pork (the perfect companion to all that corn).
Cynthia is a member of the Society of Women Geographers, Culinary Historians of Chicago, Chicago Writers Association, and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
- Waltzing Australia, BookSurge Publishing, 2007
- Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland, University of Illinois Press, 2015
Titles at Your Library
Mom’s Choice Award for travel writing for Waltzing Australia.
Speaking Engagements and Upcoming Appearances
Speaking Engagement Availability: (Yes)
For program topics or for upcoming speaking engagements, visit Cynthia’s website and click on the "Speaking Links" at bottom left.
How Corn Changed Itself and then Changed Everything Else Program About 10,000 years ago, a weedy grass in Mexico transformed itself into corn – and then transformed the Americas, even before First Contact. After First Contact, it swept across North America, building cities and inspiring poets, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Vampires, Henry Ford, time zones, Fritos, and the Chicago Bears are all part of this remarkable story. Today, corn is more important than ever. (Teens and Adults; 60 min; $135 plus travel and permission to sell books)
Seeking Spiceland Program For most of recorded history, people searched for routes to southern India, source of many of world’s most popular spices. But Southern India offers more than spices. It possesses a surprising history, stunning beauty, gracious people, and wonderful food. Come learn about spice history, the place of southern India in world events, and the delights to be enjoyed by a visitor today. Narrated slideshow. Includes handouts. (General audience; 60 min; $135 plus travel)
The Rule of Rum Program Come learn the reason rum arose where it did and when it did, and how pirates got involved, as well as how rum helped unite the 13 Colonies, why it became one of the issues that led to the American Revolution, how it also led to a revolt in its next home after the Caribbean: Australia, and how it affected culture and history after that. Includes handouts. (Adults; 60 min; $135 plus travel)
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