Maria-Xenia Hardt


pages written*

km run*

some stats

*rough estimate

plays directed

ideas per day*

/ writes /

I’ve been writing for as long as I’ve known my letters. (Well, to be honest, I wrote my first story before we’d finished the alphabet.) Since then, I have written for page and for stage, creative, journalistic and academic stuff.

I founded my first newspaper when I was 12, and although I sometimes managed to force my brother and friends to contribute, it was mainly me filling the pages. (Still got the floppy disks somewhere…) 
I have published widely as a freelance journalist, both for regional media (fudder at home in Freiburg, the Daily Texan across the ocean) and national media such as FAZ and bento.

I’ve drafted many academic pieces, too – some carefully, some hurriedly, all the way from my first two-page-essays to the several-hundred-page PhD thesis that I’m currently spending my waking hours on. 


/ featured /

/ phd project /

/ “night at the library” /

/ “mud’n’tackles”/

Many things I love in life have to do with talking: I like to teach. I enjoy delivering papers at conferences. I’m always in for a lively discussion. I love the stage. I was never much of an actress and rather took to directing plays but I used to frequent poetry slam stages across the country and then went on to moderate both cultural and political events. I love the thrill and spontaneity of those evenings, the back and forth between stage and audience, the tension, the concentration, the fun.

Oh, and one more thing: Don’t worry, I can also shut up and listen.

/ talks /

/ featured /

/ poetry slam /

/ pussy power /

/ stage host /

/ runs /

On August 22nd, 2015, I was trying to leave Reykjavik to hitchhike along the ring road through Iceland. A road block stopped me and I found myself along the track of that year’s local marathon. First, the top runners raced past. Then the rest of the field followed, hundreds and hundreds of people in colourful running gear. Towards the end – a group of women. They were all wearing the same t-shirt that said on the front: “If you’re still sweating, you’re still alive.” The back revealed that they were breast cancer survivors. There I was, age 24 and very much out of shape, not only due to the 15 kilos overweight I was carrying around. I had a good, healthy body and did very little to celebrate it. I made a pact with myself to change that upon my return back home. And so I did. I signed up for a half-marathon six months in the future, I told everyone about it to make extra sure that I would’t chicken out, and then I got going. I’ve been a runner ever since.

/ featured /

/ running taught me /

/ on running /

/ running enabled me /

Yes, I also have a formal education. This includes the following degrees:


  • Work in progress: PhD in Literary and Cultural Studies
  • M.A. British and North American Cultural Studies from the University of Freiburg (1,0)
  • B.A. English and American Studies (Major) and Portuguese (Minor) from the University of Freiburg, with a year abroad at the University of Texas at Austin (1,3)
  • German A levels / „Abitur“ (1,0)

My education was made possible and enriched by the following grants:


  • German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes)
  • Scholarship and training program for talented young journalists (JONA), Konrad Adenauer Foundation
  • DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) – study abroad scholarship for the US
  • Fulbright American Studies Summer Session

/ edu
cation /

/ featured /

/ books /

/ travel /

/ family / 

/ expe
rience /

Part of my experience is the kind of work experience you would include in a CV. That includes the following areas:

  • Research and Teaching
    • Courses such as “Women on the Small Screen” (English Department, University of Freiburg) or “All the World’s a Stage: Leadership, Responsibility and the Theatre” (C.H. Beck Fellowship, University College Freiburg)
    • Researcher at the Collaborative Research Centre 948 “Heroes – Heroization – Heroism”
  • Journalism
    • Freelance work and internships (see here)
  • Stage Presentation
    • MC at poetry slam events (see e.g. here)
    • Presentation of political and cultural events (see e.g. here)

To my mind, experience extends beyond this professional area, so below are a few examples of other stuff that helped develop my skills and personality.

/ featured /

/ zis /

/ theatre /

/ co-op cooking /

Like everyone in this whole wide world, I’m not good at everything but I do have a few core skills that are transferrable to all kinds of situations and challenges, and that helped me excell in very different areas so far. I apply these skills with curiosity and zest, with passion and love for what I do.

/ skills /


I find the right ones.


I think out of the box.


I call the shots and get moving.


I flourish in a team, and teams flourish with me.


No matter if the audience is 1 or 1000, I present competently, self-confidently and in an entertaining way.


I see the bigger picture, I always have a plan and I constantly update it.


I live by

Have a positive attitude.

Always be curious and never tire of asking questions.

Only ask of others what you are ready to give yourself.

Listen intently and meet people where they are.

Accept where you are yourself, it’s the only place to start from.

Challenge the status quo and challenge yourself.

It’s a good sign if you’re a little afraid – it means your dreams are big enough.

Be aware of your own privilege – be it due to class, race, gender, or your sexual orientation – and use the power you have to empower those who don’t.

I am currently buckling down to finish my PhD (I have recently submitted my thesis). Meanwhile, I am also looking into possible next career steps and am ready to start a new job any time between tomorrow and October. I am open to moving anywhere within Europe and, potentially, the US. To me, the how of a job is more important than the where and what: I want to work in a team with good communication and ambitions, I want challenge, I prefer continuous change and growth over routine, I thrive doing project-based stuff and I like my work to be meaningful. Are you looking to fill a position in such an environment and think I could be a good fit? Drop me a line!

/ what’s next? /

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