Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
San Jose State Unversity
Website URL
Women, Childhood, Gender, Sexuality, U.S. Progressive Era, History Education, Children & Youth, Immigration, Women's Self-Defense History. Suffrage History, LGBTQ Suffragists, Queer History
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Wendy L. Rouse earned a BA in history and later an MA in public history and archaeology at Sacramento State University. She later completed her Ph.D. in United States history at the University of California, Davis. Her research interests included women, childhood, and gender history during the Progressive Era. Her first book, Children of Chinatown: Growing up Chinese American in San Francisco by UNC Press, explores the lives of Chinese American children during the era of Chinese exclusion. Her most recent book, Her Own Hero: The Origins of the Women’s Self-Defense Movement by NYU Press, examines the emergence of women’s self-defense alongside the first-wave of feminism during the Progressive Era. Rouse teaches United States history and social science teacher preparation at San Jose State University.

Recent Publications


Her Own Hero: The Origins of the Women’s Self-Defense Movement. New York University Press, 2017.

 The Children of Chinatown: Growing up Chinese American in San Francisco, 1850-1920. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009.


“Perfect Love in a Better World: Same-Sex Attraction Between Girls.” Girlhood Studies 10, no. 3 (December 2017).

“Charmed Lives: Charms, Amulets and Childhood in Urban America, 1870-1940.” Journal of American Culture 40, no. 1 (March 2017): 21-33.

“Jiu-Jitsuing Uncle Sam: The ‘Unmanly Art’ of Jiu-Jitsu and the ‘Yellow Peril’ Threat in Progressive Era America.” Pacific Historical Review 84, no. 4 (November 2015): 448-477.

“Empowering the Physical and Political Self: Women and the Practice of Self Defense, 1890-1920.” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 13, no. 4 (October 2014): 470-499.

“The Limits of Dress: Chinese American Childhood, Fashion, and Race in the Exclusion Era.” Western Historical Quarterly 41, no. 4 (November 2010): 451-471.

“Postcard Images of Chinese: American Childhood and the Construction of a New Chinatown.” Nevada Historical Society Quarterly 53 (Spring 2010): 5-26.

History Education Articles:

“Iron-Jawed Angels and the Fight for Women’s Suffrage.” Hollywood or History? An Inquiry-Based Strategy for Using Film to Teach U.S. History. Scott L. Roberts and Charles Elfer, editors. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. Forthcoming.

“Fong Bow’s File: Chinese Exclusion and Resistance.” Teaching History: A Journal of Methods 43, no. 1 (Spring 2018).

“Lessons Learned While Escaping From a Zombie: Designing a Breakout EDU Game.” The History Teacher: The Society for History Education 50, no. 4 (August 2017): 553-563.

“Hetch-Hetchy Talk-it-Out.” Social Studies Review: How Do We Measure Student Performance in Social Studies? Journal of the California Council for the Social Studies. Annual Issue 2015-16.

Blog Posts & Magazine Articles:

“Gloves Off: Women’s Self-Defense.” Phi Kappa Phi Forum. Magazine of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi 98, no. 1 (Spring 2018), 26-29.

“Every Woman Her Own Bodyguard.” Longreads. January 10, 2018.

“The Origins of the Women’s Self-Defense Movement.” From the Square. NYU Press. August 8, 2017.

“How Our Fierce Feminist Grandmothers Fought to Claim Their Space.” Ms. Magazine. July 28, 2017.

“For Fun and Freedom These 19th Century Female Fighters Got in the Ring.” Timeline. May 31, 2017.



Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Children & Youth, Family, Gender, Migration & Immigration, Race, Sexuality, Sexual Violence, Urban History, Women