The Bishop Hill Heritage Association is hosting a free presentation called How Corn Changed Itself and Then Changed Everything Else by Cynthia Clampitt at 2 p.m. in the Dairy Building on Saturday, June 15. About 10,000 years ago, a weedy grass growing in Mexico possessed of a strange trait known as a “jumping gene” transformed itself into a larger and more useful grass—the cereal grass that we would come to know as maize and then corn. Nurtured by Native Americans, this grain would transform the Americas even before First Contact. After First Contact, it spanned the globe, but it also drove westward expansion in North America, building cities and inspiring innovators and entrepreneurs. This presentation is free and open to the public due to the sponsorships of the BHHA and the Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholar Speakers Bureau. The Dairy Building is located at 410 North Erickson Street. For more details about this program, please call 309 927-3899 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cynthia Clampitt is a writer and food historian. She has pursued her love of culture, history, and food in thirty-seven countries on six continents, but in recent years has focused her studies on the American Midwest. She is the author of Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland, published by the University of Illinois Press and Pigs, Pork, and Heartland Hogs: From Wild Boar to Baconfest, published by Rowman & Littlefield.