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Independence Blue Cross presents Age Fearless with One Day University – Haverford

Saturday, September 23 2023 8:30 am - 1:00 pm


8:30 am - 9:30 am
Registration and Continental Breakfast
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The doors will open at 8:30. We welcome you to arrive any time between 8:30am and 9:30am to get some coffee and light refreshments and meet your fellow students!

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9:30 am - 10:30 am
The Trial of Socrates: Fact, Fiction, Reality & Myth
Christopher M. Bellitto / Kean University

Of all the great “trials of the century” in history, the first­–and maybe most influential–was the one that sentenced a grumpy philosopher to death. But we can’t understand the trial of Socrates without understanding the context. Athens had recently lost a long war to its bitter rival, Sparta, and was looking to take its anger out on someone. But Socrates wasn’t having it: he turned the accusations around and put Athens on trial. Was it a case of free speech, or Athenian vengeance on the most annoying person in the city—and what are its implications for whistleblowers today?


Recommended Reading:

The Hemlock Cup: Socrates, Athens, and the Search for the Good Life, by Bettany Hughes

Plato: The Trial and Death of Socrates, 3rd ed.; translated by G.M.A. Grube and revised by John M. Cooper

The Last Days of Socrates, by Plato; translated by Harold Tarrant and Hugh Tredennick


Discussion Questions:

  1. What do you think is the legacy of Socrates for today?
  2. How would you have voted?
  3. What do you think of Socrates’ decision to flip the narrative and put Athens on trial?
  4. Do you think Socrates’ advanced age had anything to do with his decision to put his life on the line?


Christopher M. Bellitto / Kean University

Dr. Christopher M. Bellitto is Professor of History at Kean University in New Jersey, where he teaches courses in ancient and medieval history. A specialist in church history and reform, he is the author of ten books, including his latest: Ageless Wisdom: Lifetime Lessons from the Bible. His current project is a history of humility as the lost virtue, supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Grant. Dr. Bellitto also serves as series Editor in Chief of Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition and Academic Editor at Large for Paulist Press. He is a former Fulbright Specialist at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, and was Visiting Scholar at Princeton Theological Seminary 2021-2022.

10:45 am - 11:45 am
Inside the Score of Broadway’s Hamilton
Gil Harel / Brandeis University

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton premiered Off-Broadway in early 2015 and quickly became one of the most celebrated and influential musicals of the 21st century. Based on Ron Chernow’s biography Alexander Hamilton, the show began (as did Hadestown and other highly successful stage works) as a concept album before developing into a musical that would make waves in the theater scene and beyond. The libretto is incisive and humorous (Miranda’s indebtedness to Sondheim is salient throughout), and the heterogeneous score includes substantial rap and hip-hop mixed with R&B, a smattering of jazz, and more traditional musical theater idioms. The result is a show peppered with infectious songs and lyrics that have burrowed into the ear of many a theatergoer. During this program, we will delve into the genesis of Hamilton, aspects of casting and performance, critical reception, and consider what the legacy of this remarkable show might end up being.


Gil Harel / Brandeis University

Gil Harel is a musicologist and music theorist who lectures widely at Brandeis University and additional venues on topics ranging from renaissance motets to atonal opera. A piano accompanist and vocal coach, Professor Harel’s musical interests range from western classical repertoire to musical theater and jazz. Previously, he has served on the faculty at the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, China, and at CUNY Baruch College, where he was awarded the prestigious “Presidential Excellence Award for Distinguished Teaching.”


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
In Our Prime: How Older Americans Are Reinventing the Road Ahead
Susan J. Douglas / University of Michigan

In the early 1970s, the accepted wisdom among gerontologists about aging was that older Americans would need to essentially withdraw from society, and even their personal relationships.  People were forced to retire at 65 whether they wanted to or not.  The prevailing assumptions about older people were that they were frail, intellectually incompetent, irrelevant, and often a burden. Other stereotypes included “rigid, unproductive and uninformed, doddering, senile, deaf, and useless.”

A term was coined for this:  ageism, the systematic stereotyping of and discrimination against people simply because they are old.  And despite fifty years of change in how millions of older people live their lives, ageism remains so ingrained in our culture—especially the media—that it goes unnoticed as a bias and indeed is pretty much taken for granted.  In fact, ageism was especially blatant during the early months of the COVID pandemic.

Yet, at the same time, older people are defying these stereotypes:  millions are healthier, more socially and politically engaged, working longer, and living longer than previous generations, and often feel fifteen years younger than our chronological age. In this lecture, Professor Susan Douglas will argue that we are in the midst of a demographic revolution, with more people over fifty than at any time in our history.  Drawing from video clips and media images, Professor Douglas will illustrate both the persistence of ageism as well as the challenges to it.  And while a­­geism affects everyone, she will note how it is especially targeted to women.


Recommended Reading: 

The Chair Rocks:  A Manifesto Against Ageism, by Ashton Applewhite

In Our Prime:  How Older Women Are Reinventing the Road Ahead, by Susan J. Douglas

Women Rowing North, by Mary Pipher


Susan J. Douglas / University of Michigan

Susan J. Douglas is the Catharine Neafie Kellogg Professor and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Communication and Media at The University of Michigan. She has written for The New York Times and Washington Post, and has appeared on The Today Show, CBSCNBC, NPR, Weekend Edition, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Professor Douglas is the award-winning author of seven books, including Listening In:  Radio and the American Imagination, and Inventing American Broadcasting, 1899-1922.



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Centennial Hall at The Haverford School
450 Lancaster Avenue
Haverford, PA 19041 United States
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