Connecting the ancient world with modern communities.
"Mai has a truly splendid track record in introducing people of all backgrounds to the classical world. In her hands, Classics never seems stuffy or snobbish."
- Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at University of Cambridge, UK -
Mai is an ancient historian and a freelance public engagement specialist. She has been a key voice in the UK for engagement with the humanities for over a decade.
Her research focuses on race and ethnicity in the ancient world. She is also interested in medieval manuscripts, particularly from Ethiopian-Eritrean traditions. She is passionate about exploring the interconnectivity between the ancient Mediterranean world and North-East Africa.
Mai arrived in the UK aged 8 as a child refugee of the Ethiopian-Eritrean civil war. As a young child she spent many happy days in South Lambeth Tate Library exploring stories written about the ancient world, particularly Greek myths. Mai went on to study Classical Civilisation at university and forged a career in engaging the public with the ancient and medieval world.
TV & Radio
Mai is available for TV programming and guest appearances on the subjects of race and ethnicity in the ancient world, women in Greek Literature, Classics and outreach, community engagement and co-curation projects, and decolonising objects and artefacts. She would be open to looking at a wide and diverse section of programming not just within her specialist subjects.
Mai is a very experienced public speaker so If you are looking for someone to - Enhance community engagement within your organisation - Reaching a more diverse audience, someone to - Break down cultural barriers and - Involve young people - Connect your activities with mentoring in education and career pathways then Mai can help you to achieve these aims and am able to tailor my approach to your needs. Her work combines academic expertise and rigour with a profound understanding of: - The higher education landscape – Schools - The arts and heritage sector or need an exciting interesting and engaging speaker at your event then Mai is the ideal person to bring on board.
Awards for Public Engagement:
- Shortlisted for the University of Oxford Vice-Chancellor's Diversity Awards 2020. Project: Ethiopian and Eritrean Treasures: Ge'ez as a transmitter of Cultural Heritage.
- Recipient of the Classical Association Outreach Prize 2019.
- Shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Awards 2012. Project: Classics Outreach, Reaching Wider South-West Wales Partnership, Swansea University.
Blogs & Podcasts
December 2021, Race and Identity in the Ancient Greek Novel, History Hit podcast series.
October 2020, Classics in Communities, Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama podcast series.
September 2020, Beyond the Academy, careers outside the tenure-track Academia podcast series. Princeton University.
April 2020, Race, Ethnicity and Women in Ancient Greek Texts, HistoryFest podcast series.
April 2020, Luminaries, EOS, Africana Reception of Greece and Rome.
July 2019, Coffee and Circuses, ancient world podcast series.
November 2018, Forward with Classics: A Book at Lunchtime, panel discussion.
May 2015, Race and Ethnicity in the Ancient Novel, blog post for Race and Resistance Network, The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities.