Wendy Rouse

Wendy Rouse

Associate Professor




Current Research Activities

Presently, I am working on a project called "Queering the History of the Women's Suffrage Movement." This research explores how suffragists both reinforced and challenged heteronormative views of gender and sexuality while also highlighting the role of queer suffragists in the movement. The traditional narrative of suffrage history sanitized the private lives and public personas of individual suffragists contributing to the historical erasure of the lives and loves of prominent queer suffragists. Yet, it was through these intimate partnerships that suffragists forged powerful personal alliances, often across national and transnational boundaries that proved essential to propelling the suffrage movement forward. This research considers the stories of several lesser-known queer suffragists who dedicated their lives to furthering the suffrage cause even as they deflected criticism about their personal relationships and/or gender non-conformity.

Research Connections to Current Events

As a result of legislation like California's FAIR Education Act, K-12 educators are presently working on ways of integrating the history of gender and sexuality into their classrooms. This is especially important work since it helps render queer individuals visible in history and allows modern LGBTQ+ students to see themselves in that history. My research will add to a growing body of scholarly work that seeks to expand our understanding of that history and helps educators integrate these stories into their curriculum.

Social Media




LGBTQ History, Queer History, Women's History, Suffrage History, Childhood History