Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Joe Austin

Committee Members

Carolyn Eichner, Lisa Silverman


Ilsa, Nazi Chic, Nazisploitation, Popular Culture, Pornography, Women


This thesis examines the Nazisploitation trope of the Ilsa-type within its political, social, and cultural context. A product of the 1950s men's adventure magazines, the Ilsa-type continues to be a familiar and popular character within American pop culture. Popularized through the 1970s torture porn, Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS, the character has since influenced mainstream film, fashion, and various other popular culture outlets. This thesis discusses why such an ahistorical figure has seized hold of public imagination, how she has developed in the decades since her first appearance, and why she matters. A work of feminist historical scholarship, this thesis aims to explain one of the more puzzling Nazisploitation archetypes.