Waterfront Barge Showboat & Museum

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Boat Banter on the Barge

interior of a wooden covered barge with maritime artifacts, a photo of a smiling middle aged white man in foul weather gear on a sailboat

A low-key conversation about boats, maritime, and ideas connected to water and waterfronts, this second session of Boat Banter on the Barge features Ocean lover, philosopher, and sailor Roberto Casati who will join David Sharps, Stefan D-W, and the rest of the Waterfront Museum staff for a casual conversation about the philosophy of the ocean, unionizing plankton, ocean representation in textbooks, and whatever other topics the tide washes in on Saturday, March 2, 2024 between 2 and 3pm at the Waterfront Museum barge moored at Brooklyn’s Pier 44 (290 Conover St.). This is during the museum’s regular open hours and admission is by suggested donation (people usually leave between $2 and $20).


Boat Banter on the Barge brings experts to the Waterfront Museum’s showboat barge during the winter months for low-key conversation about boats, maritime, and ideas connected to water and waterfronts. Experts draw up a chair in the heated side of the barge during the museum’s regular open hours on Saturday afternoons, and all visitors are invited to participate in the conversation as much or as little as they like. Our guest experts come from academia, industry, and preservation. They include scholars in blue humanities, coastal studies, landscape history, and related fields as well as marine and industrial historians and archaeologists, tug and ship captains, engineers, boatwrights and more.

Roberto is a Senior Researcher with the French National Center for Scientific Research, Professor at the School for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris, and director of the Jean Nicod Institute of ENS/EHESS in Paris (one of the leading research centers in cognitive science) currently visiting Columbia University. He is the author of 130 research papers and book chapters on perception, spatial representation and the use of maps and images, as well as of ten books, some of which have been translated in many languages. His seminal work on Digital Colonialism has spurred a large debate on the use of technology in schools. The Cognitive Life of Maps will be published in 2024 by MIT Press ; he is the editor of the collection The Sailing Mind (Springer, 2022). His latest book is Oceano (Einaudi, 2022 ; French translation La philosophie de l’Océan, PUF 2022), on the philosophy of the ocean.

An avid ocean lover and goer, one of his latest achievements is a transatlantic crossing on the sailboat Albatros, a Challenge 67 monohull, as a crew member and on board researcher. Albatros was 2nd in the Cruising B class of the 2019 ARC, after 17 days in the trade winds.

This event receives support from the Queens College MLS/MA Dual Degree in Library Science and History program.

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