Welcome to The Warrior Women Project at Wayne State!

About the WWP at Wayne State:

A collaboration between The English Broadside Ballad Archive (EBBA) and a team in the English Department at Wayne State University, the WWP is a collaborative experiment in creating a digital home for the 113 “Warrior Women” ballads originally catalogued by Professor Dianne Dugaw for the index of her 1982 dissertation, The Female Warrior Heroine in Anglo-American Balladry. 

Though Professor Dugaw published her dissertation research in her monograph Warrior Women and Popular Balladry: 1650-1850 (Cambridge University Press, 1989; reprinted Chicago University Press, 1996), her typewritten catalogue of ballads was never published or archived.

This project digitizes Dugaw’s index, preserving it as both a searchable research tool and a historical record in its own right.

We further build on Dugaw’s original catalogue with our own database of the ballads, which enables them to be mapped, sorted, and searched in new ways, and which links each of the catalogue’s 113 ballads with its other online iterations, especially on the English Broadside Ballad Archive (EBBA), Early English Books Online (EEBO) and Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), as well as its listing in the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC).

Finally, we are developing our own digital critical edition of the 113 Warrior Women Ballads, with background resources and critical essays that contextualize and analyze the ballads, their history, and their significance in their own moment and our own. We have also included some resources for teaching the ballads and some examples of undergraduate student work.

For more on our process, see The Story of the Warrior Women Project: Using Technology to Connect Intersectionality and Digital Humanities Theory and Praxis by Kelly Plante

About the Team

The Warrior Woman Project was developed in a graduate course taught by Professor Simone Chess in Fall 2019, with additional contributions from an undergraduate course in Winter 2020. The names of all student participants are listed, with gratitude, in the acknowledgement section below.

Five graduate students continued the work begun in their graduate seminar with a directed study in Winter 2020, during which they built this site and developed additional teaching and research resources. To find out more about these core team members, see the following bios:

Kelly Plante (Project Manager)

Erika Carbonara

Sarah Chapman

Robert Chapman-Morales (Fall 2019)

Bernadette Kelly

Lindsay Ragle-Miller

Matthew Jewell (Fall 2019)


The Warrior Women Project is a collaboration with The English Broadside Ballad Archive (EBBA), and we are grateful to Professor Patricia Fumerton, for imagining and encouraging us to do this work, and to EBBA Assistant Director Kristen McCants for her assistance and counsel. This project would not have been possible without the scholarship and generosity of Professor Dianne Dugaw, whose brilliant catalogue was the starting point of all our work, and whose advice and experiences guided our decisions. Our entire endeavor was supported by the English Department at Wayne State University.

Our project was imagined collaboratively in a graduate seminar. The participants were Simone Chess, Erika Carbonara, Sarah Chapman, Robert Chapman-Morales, Matthew Jewell, Bernadette Kelly, Lindsay Ragle-Miller and Kelly Plante.

Undergraduate and graduate students in ENG 5190 were the beta-testers of this site and contributed ideas, recommendations, annotations and essays, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. The students in that course were Louie Alkasmikha, Melinda Baker, Emma Brick, Elliot Chammas, Andy Cho, Kay Cirocco, Mackenzie Devine, Michael Dickson, Rachel Felder, Kaitlyn Holt, Noor Jomaa, Drita Juncaj, Diamond Price, Zachary Siteck, Talia Smock, and Katheryn VanRiper. All student work from this class is shared with credit and permission.

We were lucky to collaborate with Professor Judith Moldenhauer from the James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History at Wayne State, who generously invited us to learn about printing and create our own ballad on the WSU Vandercook 325 printing press. Thanks also to her student assistant, Matthew Holben, for the beautiful custom wood engraving.

We received generous assistance with all things digital and digital humanities from WSU librarians Clayton Hayes and Alexandra Sarkozy and WSU alum Professor Andie Silva

WWP in the News!

WWP panel on “Building the Warrior Women Project: Digital Humanities and a Broadside Ballad Archive” at the Wonder Women Workshop, Fall 2020

“Early English Broadside Ballad Archive (EBBA) welcomes its new partner, Wayne State University” – EBBA’s Facebook page

English grad students write typeset and print ballads on printing press” – WSU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Web site

“English professor partners with UC Santa Barbara’s Broadside Ballad Archive” by Sarah Pickett, CLAS marketing and communications associate

Wayne State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences > English > Research > Digital projects – WSU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Web site