Article Title

Resisting Ilsa: Foucaultian Ethics and the Sexualization of Nazism


This paper examines ways in which Nazism has been sexualized in contemporary Western media, drawing on Foucault’s theory of biopower to explain this bizarre phenomena. I argue Nazism has been eroticized through its use as a floating signifier for “evil” or “abnormal,” the oppositional half of the hegemonic binary narrative. Looking to Foucault’s later work on resistance and perfectionist ethics, I ultimately argue these representations negatively detract from and silence survivor and witness testimony, problematically distorting popular knowledge and understanding of the Shoah to fit hegemonic binary narratives, rather than to pay respect to or preserve the stories and suffering of the victims.

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