Performing Manhood

Glahn and the Masculinity Crisis in Hamsun’s ‘Pan’


  • Chengzhou He UiT The Arctic University of Norway



Hamsun, masculinity, performativity


In Hamsun’s novel Pan, Lieutenant Glahn holds an essentialist notion of masculinity that is somewhat outdated in the context of emerging Norwegian modernity. His acts of violence, which are performative of his male pride, not only bring harm to others, but also become destructive to himself. The masculinity crisis enacted in Pan is put into the context of the social, historical, and cultural changes related to gender and modernity that occurred during the end of the 19th century in Norway and beyond.  

Author Biography

Chengzhou He, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Chengzhou He, PhD of Oslo University, is Changjiang Distinguished Professor of English and Drama at Nanjing University, and Foreign Member of the Academy of Europe. He is currently Director of Chinese-Nordic Cultural Center, Chinese Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies. In addition to numerous articles in Chinese and English, he has published more than ten books. He is former Chairman of the International Ibsen Committee, and won the ‘Ibsen Medal’ in 2002.





How to Cite

He, Chengzhou. 2016. “Performing Manhood: Glahn and the Masculinity Crisis in Hamsun’s ‘Pan’”. Nordlit, no. 38 (April):87–95.