3. Constrained Freedom

Interview with Paul North


  • Johan Fredrikzon




Johan Fredrikzon spent one and a half years as a visiting research assistant at the Film and Media Studies Program at Yale University 2018/2019. Some months before he arrived, a two-day workshop on Simondon was held by the Yale-Du?sseldorf Working Group on Philosophy and Media, titled Modes of Technical Objects, with scholars from the US and Germany. Fredrikzon decided to engage a few of the workshop participants for this special issue of Sensorium, with the purpose to discuss perspectives on Simondon as a theoretical instrument for thinking technology, how the French philosopher matters in their work, and why there seems to be a revival in the interest in the writing of Simondon these days. On behalf of the Sensorium journal, the interviewer would like to thank the three interviewees for their generous participation.

About Paul North:

Paul North is Professor at the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures at Yale University. He teaches on media and literature from Ancient Greece through the romantic and enlightenment traditions into 20th century literary and critical theory. In The Yield: Kafka’s Atheological Reformation (Stanford, 2015) North presented a largely unknown Kafka based on readings of the famous writer’s theoretical works at the end of World War I. Paul North’s new book, Bizarre Privileged Items in the Universe: The Logic of Likeness (Zone Books, 2021) diverges from centuries of thought focused on the idea of difference to engage deeply with the concept of likeness: in evolution, in natural and social worlds, in language and in art. More on: paulnorth.org.