Azza Zein

PhD Economics
MFA Fine Arts  


I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which I work, and live, the Boonwurung, and Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation. I pay my respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

La Trobe University,  Sessional Lecturer and Coordinator  (2022-2024)

Collecting Power: Museums, Colonialism and Restitution In this subject, we will critically interrogate the role of museums in our culture: custodians of what we consider valuable, but also perpetrators of loaded world views steeped in unequal power relations. We explore the relationship between collecting, conflict and power, and how the role of art in conquest, nation-building and religious conflicts can lead to its destruction or censorship.  We explore the wider ethical and legal context of collecting, destruction and theft, and the broad cultural responses to redressing this legacy in ‘decolonising’ actions that include the restitution and repatriation of cultural objects and the transformation of institutional practices in response to First Nations advocacy.“

Looting, Iconoclasm and Censorship “This subject focuses on the relationship between collecting, conflict and power by exploring the intertwining relation between museum collections and colonialism through a number of key case studies of stolen artefacts such as the Elgin marbles, the Benin Bronzes and First nations artefacts, the widespread and systematic Nazi looting of cultural material, as well as nuacing the complex ethics around historical and contemporary iconoclastic gestures (fallism, toppling statues and heritage destruction). We discuss the ethics of restitutions, censorship, diversity in the museum as well as contemporary art practices in relation to the class topics.”Studio art practice (SPF) 3rd yearThis is a class combining group critique, individual consultation and occasional class lectures (on humour, craft, perception, ecology) as well as guiding students in their individual projects with tailored artistic examples, and coordinating the 3rd year grad show.

University of Melbourne, The Victorian College of Arts, Teaching Associate  (2023-2024)

Critical and Theoretical Studies 1 (pre-modern)“This subject introduces students to language and methods for critically describing and interpreting works of art using examples from the earliest known artistic forms to the late nineteenth century. A broad range of historical, social, cultural and political contexts underpinning artistic production are explored.”Critical and Theoretical Studies 2 (modern)“This subject focuses on the concept of modernity in culture and society, particularly as it fashioned the art of the later nineteenth century and twentieth century with a wave of successive avant-gardes, and which we identify as “modernism”.”

Critical and Theoretical Studies 3 (post-modern)
“This subject deals with the critical formulation of vanguard “high” modernism in the 1960s and its contestation by varieties of late modernist and postmodernist art and culture which develop throughout subsequent decades up to the millennium. The course is oriented by the proposition that the reactions to high modernism invoke an “expanded field” of art during this period: with the emergence of performative modes of art and new cross-media and inter-media art forms; with a revitalized convergence of design, fashion, music, cinema and visual art; with the invention of new media; and with artistic and critical challenges to modernist doctrines of vanguard progress, authenticity and originality.”

Critical and Theoretical Studies 4 (contemporary)
“This subject concentrates on developments in art and culture in the twenty-first century. It is oriented by the proposition that the displacement and disparagement of postmodernism over the past decades has resulted in an upsurge of new artistic modes, concerns, and aspirations.”

Co-facilitator and Lecturer with Dr Jan Bryant (2023)

Art+Political Economy

Art programme
“Art+Political Economy (6 sessions online class) engages with the work of artists, filmmakers, writers and philosophers who respond to the political and economic conditions of modernity. Topics covered Time and moods, Enclosures and Planetary Commons, Circulating bodies, debt and Exchange Value, Racial capitalism and Exhaustion, Resistances and Porous Spaces, Bureaucratic Capitalism and Precarious Labour.”

American University of Beirut, Part-time Lecturer (2022)

Sculpture After the Monument, Studio Arts, Spring 2022I gave theoretical lectures and studio practice discussions. The course considers that when sculpture is disengaged from the logic of the monument, it enters a field of possibilities. Students develop a body of work related to three projects where they investigate anti-monumental practices such as transience, non-anthropocentric scales and temporalities, the ready-made, repetition and indexical documentation related to the found materials in a site of their choice in Beirut.