Mai is an active researcher in the history and literature of the Graeco-Roman world.
In recent years, she has focused on making the ancient world more accessible to wider audiences: she is recognised as a leading voice in Classics outreach. Mai is a trustee of
Classics for All - a national campaign to get classical languages and the study of classical civilisations back into state schools. She is also a trustee of The Roman Society, which aims to advance the understanding of ancient Rome and the Roman Empire.
Mai has a degree in Classical Civilisation, and a Masters and Doctorate in Ancient History. Her thesis explored the representation of the 'Other' in Greek literature, particularly in the ancient novels.
Conference papers (selected)
Feb. 2022: Enter Arsace: Constructing a Persian Princess. Global & Transregional Studies Research Seminars, University of Lincoln.
Nov. 2021: The King and I: Political Power Games in the Ancient Novel. Swansea University.
Jul. 2019: Knowledge Exchange and Classics. Plenary Panel on Classics in the 21st Century. FIEC/Classical Association Annual Conference, University College London.
Nov. 2018: Between East and West: The Case of Dionysius’ Hybridity in Chariton’s Novel Callirhoe. University of Liverpool.
Nov. 2017: Engaging with the Garima Gospels. Christian Africa/Medieval Africa 300-1600 CE conference, Harvard University.
Public Service & Publications
Mai is the co-founder of the Classics in Communities partnership project between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and The Iris Project (an educational Classics charity). The project aims to promote and encourage the teaching of Latin and Ancient Greek at primary and early secondary school level (and beyond) in UK state schools.
Mai is the co-editor (with Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson and Steve Hunt) of the book Forward with Classics: Classical Languages in Schools and Communities , which investigates the motivations of teachers and learners behind the rise of Classics in the classroom and in communities. It also explores the ways in which knowledge of classical languages is considered valuable for diverse learners in the 21st century.
“A pioneering collection offering analysis, reflection and advice from people who really know about delivering classical education in multiple contexts (from schools to prisons) across the globe, electronically and face-to-face, from Tower Hamlets to São Paulo. A must-read for anyone interested in how the subject will survive the next 100 years.”
- Tim Whitmarsh, Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge -