On Rereading Klaus Theweleit's Male Fantasies
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Klaus Theweleit's Male Fantasies has generated broad interest in the literature of several academic disciplines. His analysis of the symbolic and gender dynamics of the leaders of the German Freikorps (German paramilitary mercenary units of the period 1918-1923) has been widely generalized into a theory of modern masculinity. Two issues inadequately explored in Theweleit's work nonetheless must be read through more recent empirical and theoretical work in history and sociology: (1) the formative role of colonial military experience in the careers of the German Freikorps officers who provide the material for his analysis and (2) the complex historical problem of the facticity of rape in Freikorps activity.
This is a manuscript of an article from Men and Masculinities 11 (2009): 488, doi: 10.1177/1097184X08322611. Posted with permission. Not for quotation or distribution.