The Department of Digital + Media
Rhode Island School of Design

D+M Visiting Artist Series: Dr. Kathy Abbass

Dr Kathy Abbass will give an introduction to the field of marine archaeology and discuss the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project. 

D.K. (Kathy) Abbass is the Director of the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project, which she founded in 1989. Abbass received her doctorate in anthropology at Southern Illinois University in 1979 and was a post-doctoral researcher in maritime history at Harvard University and University of California-Berkeley. She was a professor of anthropology and sociology for 10 years at Norfolk State University and then “ran away to sea” to work on tall ships and to apprentice as a marine surveyor, becoming the first woman in the country to do so. From 1989 to 1990, Abbass was the director of the Museum of Yachting in Newport, Rhode Island; she turned her maritime interests to underwater archaeology in 1991. She has worked around the world on different anthropology, archaeology, and maritime history projects, ranging from African topics to searching for Captain Cook’s ship. Abbass has published widely.