Annual Edward W. Said Lecture

The Edward W. Said Professorship of Comparative Literature is a term-appointment endowed Chair in the UCLA Department of Comparative Literature. The Professorship was established in 2018 by a gift from the estate of Jean Stein, eldest daughter of Jules and Doris Stein (namesake of the UCLA Stein Eye Institute).

Jean Stein, who died in 2017, was a bestselling author, arts patron, and magazine editor who greatly admired the prominent scholar, literary critic, and political activist Edward W. Said (1935-2003). During her career, Stein regularly crossed paths with other luminaries, writers, and intellectuals such as Joan Didion and John Kenneth Galbraith. Stein’s last will and testament endowed this Chair in honor of Said, a longtime professor of literature at Columbia University who founded the field of postcolonial studies.

The endowment is a testament to Stein’s lasting philanthropic legacy at UCLA and provides critical funds to advance faculty research in the Department of Comparative Literature. The Chair will ensure a lasting place for research and teaching of Comparative Literature at UCLA and in the field as a whole.

Endowed Chairs are reserved for scholars and teachers at various stages of their careers who have demonstrated excellence in their field. In July 2019 Dr. Shu-mei Shih—Professor of Comparative Literature, Asian Languages & Cultures, and Asian American Studies—was appointed the inaugural Chair, and initiated the annual Edward W. Said Lecture in Comparative Literature on campus.

Dr. Anjali Prabhu, who will join the Department of Comparative Literature in the 2022-2023 academic year, is the second faculty member to be appointed to the Edward W. Said Professorship.

2021 lecture
2022 lecture
2023 lecture
  • Amitav Ghosh – Author
  • “The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis”
  • Held on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 in Broad 2160E
  • Moderated by Anjali Prabhu, 2023 Edward W. Said Professor of Comparative Literature