Skip to content

College of Arts and Humanities

Joseph Mai

Joseph Mai

Department Chair; Professor of French

Department of Languages
Office: 716 Strode

Ph.D., Yale University

Curriculum Vitae


Joseph Mai is Professor of French and affiliated with the World Cinema program. He writes about French and Francophone Film and (visual) media studies, film philosophy, and contemporary French literature. His current research project examines attention to ordinary life in film, media, and literature. His recently co-edited book on Rithy Panh has appeared with Rutgers University Press. Dr. Mai teaches courses on French film, contemporary civilization, and writing. He also co-directs a Creative Inquiry group dedicated to the study of migration, detention, refuge, and hospitality.


Selected Professional Works

Books (Published)

Robert Guédiguian. Manchester University Press, 2017. Reviewed in: H-France, French Forum, Contemporary French Civilization.

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2010. Reviewed in: H-France, Film-Philosophy, Sight and Sound, Contemporary French Civilization, The French Review, Modern & Contemporary France, Choice

Books (Edited)

Barnes, Leslie and Joseph Mai (eds.). The Cinema of Rithy Panh: Everything Has a Soul. Rutgers University Press, 2021

Journal Articles & Book Chapters (Published)

“In Praise of Cinema: Stanley Cavell, Arnaud Desplechin, and Telling What Counts (Trois Souvenirs de ma jeunesse).” In LaRocca, David, ed. Movies with Stanley Cavell in Mind, 112-128. London: Bloomsbury, 2021.

“Site 2: Style and Encounter in Rithy Panh’s Cinéma-monde.” Cinéma-monde: Decentred Perspectives on Global Filmmaking in French. Ed. Gott, Michael and Schilt, Thibaut. Edinburgh University Press. 2018. 25-44.

“Infinity and Home: Exploring Conscience and Action in Les misérables.” Approaches to Teaching Victor Hugo’s Les misérables.” Ed. Ginsberg, Michal and Stevens, Bradley. MLA press.

Wang Bing’s ‘Til Madness Do Us Part (2013): An Apprenticeship in Seeing. LOLA (2016)

Un tissu de mots”: Writing Human and Animal Lives in Olivia Rosenthal’s Que font les rennes après noël ?” Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature, vol. 49.3 (2016), 55-70

“The Ideal of Ararat: Friendship, Politics, and National Origins in Robert Guédiguian’s Le voyage en Arménie.” in Gott, Michael and Herzog, Todd ed. East, West, and Centre: Reframing post-European Cinema Since 1989. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015.

“‘Humanity’s True Moral Test’: Shame, Idyll, and Animal Vulnerability in Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” Studies in the Novel, vol. 46.1 (2014), 100-116.

The Dardennes’s Lorna's Silence: Form, viewer, and Levinas' ethical alternative, New Review of Television and Film Studies, vol. 9.4 (2011), 435-453.

"Corps-Caméra: The Evocation of Touch in the Dardennes' La promesse (1996)," Esprit Créateur 47.3 (2007), 133-144.

New(er) stories: Narrative and de-figuration in Robert Bresson's Mouchette (1967), Studies in French Cinema 7.1 (2007), 31-42.

College of Arts and Humanities
College of Arts and Humanities | 108 Strode Tower, Clemson, SC 29634