Program Topics

Experienced, popular public speaker. Also comfortable and experienced speaking on radio.

Listed with the speakers bureaus of the Chicago Writers Association, Society of Midland Authors, and Northern Illinois Library Association. In 2014–2015, the rum history presentation was included as part of the Illinois Humanities Council's "Road Scholar" program.

UPCOMING SPEAKING EVENTS are listed on my Speaking Schedule page.

FEES: Base price is $140, plus travel expenses if venue more than 15 miles away. (Generally fifty cents per mile, if within 100 miles. For distances greater than 100 miles, fees are negotiable, but do need to cover expenses. Destinations that involve an overnight stay are possible, as well.)

Permission is requested to sell books after presentations. (Waltzing Australia after travel presentations, Midwest Maize after corn presentation.)

PROGRAMS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR BOOKING:

“How Corn Changed Itself and then Changed Everything Else”  About 10,000 years ago, a weedy grass growing in Mexico was transformed into a larger and more useful grass—the cereal grass that we would come to know as maize and then corn. This grain would in time span the globe, with mixed results, but for newcomers in North America, it expanded its influence from rescuing a few early settlers to creating the Midwest. Today, it is more important than ever. As Margaret Visser noted in her classic work Much Depends on Dinner, “Without corn, North America—and most particularly modern, technological North America—is inconceivable.” Come learn how and why corn transformed the Heartland and helped create today's world. (Lecture, general audience, 60 min.)

“The Rule of Rum”   Food historian Cynthia Clampitt shares the reason rum arose where it did and when it did, how pirates got involved, and who really said “yo ho ho” (not the pirates), but also 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. (Lecture, older teens and adults, 60 min.)


"Seeking Spiceland" Throughout most of the history of civilization, people have been seeking ways to get to southern India, because a surprisingly large percentage of the world’s most flavorful spices come from a relatively small area at the tip of the subcontinent. The pursuit of these spices has had a tremendous impact on world events. However, today, tourists largely ignore the region that was for more than 4,000 years the destination of merchants, armies, dreamers, the Jewish Diaspora, and others. That’s a pity, because southern India is a remarkable destination that is rich in history, stunning beauty, gracious people, wonderful food, and, as one saying tells it, more coconuts than there are stars in the sky. Come learn a bit more about the spice trade, the place of southern India in world events, and the delights to be enjoyed by a traveler today. (Narrated slide show, general audience, 60 min.)

“Waltzing Australia”  From sophisticated cities to rugged outback, desert to rainforest, Great Barrier Reef to ancient inland ranges, the land Down Under offers an often-surprising kaleidoscope of memorable experiences. Australia is a splendid destination with friendly people, astonishing landscapes, strange animals, great wineries, abundant birdlife, and rich history. Far more than a mere travelogue, this program covers Australian culture, history, geography, and lore. Though writer-photographer Cynthia Clampitt has visited Australia several times, this presentation focuses on places visited during the six-month, 20,000-mile journey that is the subject of her award-winning book, Waltzing Australia. (Narrated slide show, general audience, 60-90 min.)

“Travel Savvy”  Travel broadens one’s horizons, but it brings with it risks, costs, hassles, health issues, and other considerations. Every stage of the trip contributes to the ultimate outcome of the adventure: planning, packing, flying, touring, and returning home. Learn travel tricks, products, guidelines, and resources from veteran international traveler, author, and photographer Cynthia Clampitt. Sprinkled with tales of adventures from Paris to Mongolia, “Travel Savvy” offers ways to save money, cut risks, reduce hassles, and enjoy the road. (Lecture/show-and-Tell, with handout; adults; 90 min.)

“Mongolia: The Farthest Horizon”  Author-photographer Cynthia Clampitt guides you on a trip through Mongolia, from Lake Khuvsgul in the north to the Gobi in the south and across the vast expanses of the central plains, where Ghengis Khan once marshaled his Golden Horde. Learn about the surprising impact of the “Pax Mongolica” on the history of the world (and, more surprising still, on the world's culinary history). See yaks and reindeer, towering sand dunes, the first milking of the mares, the opening of the Nadaam Games, and much more. And even take home a Mongolian recipe. (Narrated slide show, general audience, 60 min.)

References: Judy Bock, Geographic Society of Chicago, judyil@aol.com, 847-223-7627; Debi Wolfe, Schaumburg Public Library, dwolfe@stdl.org, 847-923-3391; Jan Oblinger, Fremont Public Library, joblinger@fremontlibrary.org, 847-918-3239; Linda Atkins at the Oak Lawn Public Library, latkins@olpl.org, 708-422-4990; Vicky Edwards of Chicago-area Mensa, AChicVic@aol.com, 630-629-8385; Scott Warner, Culinary Historians of Chicago, swarner@cmsdocs.org


RADIO INTERVIEWS
So you know what I sound like on the radio:
Talking about corn and Midwest Maize on WGLT, an NPR station in central Illinois.

Talking about Hungry Magazine on The Restaurant Guys Radio Show.

Talking about Salt and Pepper on the Culinary Media Network.

Talking about writing on The Writing Show.

Talking about pursuing dreams on Passions and Possibilities Network.


Contact: caclampitt@att.net, (847) 537-7915



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