Cliveden Conversations

The award winning public speaking forum at Cliveden’s Carriage House brings regional and national guest speakers, poets, educators, and historians to ignite conversation in our diverse community for an intellectual and often emotional discussion on race, history, and memory in Philadelphia.

Cliveden Conversations are open to the public. Reservations are encouraged and appreciated but not required. Donations are accepted.


Cliveden Conversation featuring Gwen Ragsdale of the Lest We Forget Slavery Museum

Cliveden Conversation featuring students from Germantown Friends School

Kitchen Conversation featuring Philip Scott and Emily Cooperman

Dates for our Spring 2019 Cliveden Conversations series are available! 

*Space is limited and reservations are required.*

Portrait of Henry Banning Chew.
Courtesy of Cliveden of the National Trust.

The African American Experience at Epsom Farm

Sunday, June 2, 2019 | 1 PM to 3 PM in the Carriage House

Cliveden Conversation featuring a presentation by Tina Sheller, Assistant Professor of History at Goucher College, and Goucher alumnae Hannah Lane and Sophia Lipman. 







Past Cliveden Conversations

Slavery in the North: Forgetting History and Recovering Memory 

Friday, April 12, 2019 at Cliveden

Marc Ross, Professor Emeritus at Bryn Mawr College, will discuss his new book, Slavery in the North: Forgetting History and Recovering Memory, that explores the history of Northern enslavement and its new emergence in public history.  Tracing 250 years of Northern enslavement through research and visits to historical sites, Dr. Ross explores how the memory of men and women in bondage faded from Northern consciousness, how enslavement became known as strictly a Southern issue, and how the recent discovery of this history should be shared today.

 Re-enacting a Revolutionary Battle in the Context of 21st Century Gun Violence

Friday, October 19, 2018 at Historic Germantown

Join Revolutionary Germantown Partners Cliveden and PhilaLandmarks as we continue discussing gun control, violence, and the impact it has on our nation’s history and personal lives on Friday, October 19 at Historic Germantown. The conversation will feature a presentation by Dr. Aaron Sullivan, who will discuss the Revolutionary War and its consequences, followed by a community discussion aided by local facilitator Patricia Scott Hobbes.  

Re-enacting a Revolutionary Battle in the Context of 21st Century Gun Violence

Friday, September 21, 2018 at Cliveden

In response to current events, museums across the country are contemplating around guns and violent historic events. Revolutionary Germantown Partners Cliveden and PhilaLandmarks will hold community conversations around the national debate about gun control and everyday violence, looking to history as an anchor. The conversation will feature a presentation from Dr. Jessica Roney, Associate Professor of History at Temple University, focusing on the historical context of the American Revolution. After her presentation, community members will discuss how historic events and lived experiences impact life today, aided by local facilitator Patricia Scott Hobbes. 


The Cooking Gene

Friday, June 8, 2018 at Cliveden | Part of the Cliveden Food Chain

Critically acclaimed author, foodways historian, and the first African American winner of the James Beard Foundation’s Book of the Year award, Michael Twitty, will discuss his recent book and the patterns of enslavement connecting Philadelphia, Maryland, and Delaware. Mr. Twitty is a Judaic studies teacher in Washington, D.C. and has interests in food culture, food history, Jewish cultural issues, African American history and cultural politics. His blog, Afroculinaria, explores food’s role in the development and definition of African American civilization. We’re excited to have Mr. Twitty share his expertise on foodways and culture with us as we continue to explore the Chew family’s connections in Maryland.

This project is supported by the Interpretation and Education Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, an endowed fund made possible by a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.