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Dr. Alexandra Ksenofontova

Research-Track Postdoc, Research Area 4

Academic Coordinator, Research Area 4: Literary Currencies

Freie Universität Berlin
EXC 2020 Temporal Communities
Otto-von-Simson-Straße 15
14195 Berlin

Alexandra Ksenofontova read her BA and MA in comparative literature at the Moscow State University, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder). She holds a PhD in literature from the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. Her award-winning first book The Modernist Screenplay: Experimental Writing for Silent Film (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) explores the conjunctions between literary modernism and the screenwriting of the European avant-gardes of the 1920s. Her other publications include articles on film and screenwriting and a translated volume of Russian lyric poetry. She is the co-founder of the German screenwriting research network Drehbuchforschung and member of the editorial board of the Journal of Screenwriting.

Current research includes an EXC 2020 post-doctoral research project, Tense and Time: The Politics and History of Present-tense Fiction (2022-).

As follows from the preliminary title of my project, the focus is on the link between tense and time in fiction, more specifically on the link between the present tense and the non-normative temporalities. Both connections have been significantly underestimated or even denied in research; my first aim is therefore to re-establish the legitimacy of the link between tense and temporality in fiction. Zooming in on present-tense fiction, my second aim is to demonstrate that the continuous use of the present tense is by no means an invention of the 21st century. Rather, it has a long and versatile history in both anglophone and non-anglophone literatures. Exploring this history, I hope to demonstrate, thirdly, that the historical rise of present-tense fiction goes hand in hand with growing attention to non-normative temporalities, such as the temporalities of traumatized, female, queer, disabled, and other marginalized subjects.

Research interests

  • Media theory, genre theory, narratology
  • Screenwriting, film and literature, notations
  • Modernism, historical avant-gardes, 20th and 21st century novel
  • Otherness and normativity, alterity and identity, philosophy of time


The Modernist Screenplay: Experimental Writing for Silent Film. Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.
"Best Monograph" award of the Screenwriting Research Network (2020–2021).
Reviews: Journal of Screenwriting 12 (2): 246–247; Moderna språk 115 (4): 226–229; Modernist Cultures 17 (2): 290–295.

Edited and Translated Volumes

Drehbuchforschung: Perspektiven auf Texte und Prozesse. Edited by Jan Henschen, Florian Krauß, Alexandra Ksenofontova, and Claus Tieber. Wiesbaden: Springer 2022

Writing in Residence. Edited by Stefan Keppler-Tasaki, Alexandra Ksenofontova, and Jutta Müller-Tamm. Berlin: De Gruyter (forthcoming).

Valentin Parnach. Prolog zu den Tänzen: Ausgewählte Gedichte und kleinere Schriften. Edited by Alexandra Ksenofontova and Anna Luhn. Translated by Alexandra Ksenofontova in collaboration with Anna Luhn. Spector Books OHG (forthcoming).

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Theatre-Fiction in the Present Tense: Reflections on Trauma and Healing in Margaret Atwood's Hag-Seed (2016) and Eleanor Catton's The Rehearsal (2008). The Routledge Companion to Theatre-Fiction, ed. by Graham Wolfe, Routledge, 2023: 146–159.

Silent Screenwriting in Europe: Discourses on Authorship, Form, and Literature. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Screenwriting Studies, ed. by Rosamund Davies, Paolo Russo, and Claus Tieber. Palgrave Macmillan, 2023: 237–257.

Sergei Eisenstein's "The Form of the Script": A New Translation. Film History: An International Journal 34(4), 2023: 109–125.

Towards an Interdisciplinary Approach to Time in Fiction. KronoScope: Journal for the Study of Time 23(1), May 2023: 86–103.

Einleitung. In: Drehbuchforschung: Perspektiven auf Texte und Prozesse, ed. by Jan Henschen, Florian Krauß, Alexandra Ksenofontova, and Claus Tieber, 1–24. Wiesbaden: Springer, 2022.

Round Table: Pushing the boundaries of the Screenwriting Research Network. By Paolo Russo, Rosamund Davies, Alexandra Ksenofontova, Rafael Leal, Ian W. Macdonald, Steven Maras, and Claus Tieber. Journal of Screenwriting 13(1), April 2022: 115–134.

Drehbuch im Stummfilm: Eine Bibliographie / Silent Film Screenplay: A BibliographyMedienwissenschaft: Berichte und Papiere, no. 188, 2020: 1–42.

Once Again into the Cabinets of Dr. Caligari: Evil Spaces and Hidden Sources of the Caligari Screenplay. Journal of Screenwriting 10(3), September 2019: 261–277.

The Screenplay/Film Relationship Bifurcated: Reading Carl Mayer’s Sylvester (1924)Journal of Screenwriting 9(1), March 2018: 25–39.


Inventing Middlebrow Cinema: The Russian Film Journal Pegasus (1915–17). "Periodicals and Silent Cinema," special issue of the Journal of Modern Periodical Studies, edited by Jonathan Cranfield.

Die Widersprüche avantgardistischer Multisensorik: Moni de Bulis Filmskript Doktor Hipnison ili tehnika života (1923). Wiener Slawistischer Almanach, special issue edited by Svetlana Efimova and Philipp Kohl.

Intermediality, Optional: Tense Variations in Screenwriting and The General Line by Sergei Eisenstein and Grigori Aleksandrov. In The Bloomsbury Handbook of International Screenplay Theory, edited by Ann Igelström and Andrew Gay. Bloomsbury Publishing.


Open Scriptures: Notation in Contemporary Artistic Practices in Europe and the Americas. Hg. Susana González Aktories und Susanne Klengel; unter Mitarbeit von Karina Bailey (2022). Jahrbuch Komparatistik 2023: 283–296.

A Tale from Constantinople: The History of a Film That Never Was, Bo Florin And Patrick Vonderau (2019). Journal of Screenwriting 12(3), September 2021: 392–394.