Wendy L. Rouse

Historian & Author

Wendy L. Rouse is a historian whose research focuses on the history of gender and sexuality. She has published three books on the history of women and children in the Progressive Era. Her most recent book, Public Faces, Secret Lives: A Queer History of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, was highlighted in the New York Times. The book earned an Honorable Mention, Richardson Keller-Sierra Prize, Western Association of Women Historians and was a finalist for the Publishing Triangle’s Judy Grahn Award. Research for the book was supported by a Mellon-Schlesinger grant from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University. Rouse’s scholarly research has also been published in the Pacific Historical Review, the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, the Western Historical Quarterly, the Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, and Girlhood Studies. Rouse is presently Professor of History at San Jose State University.

Rouse mentors future teachers as the program coordinator for the History/Social Science Teacher Preparation Program at SJSU. Rouse has designed lessons and resources to help educators teach LGBTQ+ history in collaboration with community partners such as the California Historical Society, the California History-Social Science Project.


Queer Suffragists

Public Faces uncovers the queer history of the women’s suffrage movement and explores how suffragists boldly defied the gender and sexual norms of the day.

Children of Chinatown

The Children of Chinatown reveals the untold stories of a pioneer generation of young Chinese Americans growing up during an era of exclusion and segregation.

Women’s Self-Defense

Her Own Hero examines the political and physical empowerment of women through the birth of a women’s self-defense movement in the early twentieth century.