Rebel City: Rijeka’s Challenge to Wilson’s Europe, 1919-1920


EES Postdoctoral




This project investigates how the city of Rijeka (now in modern-day Croatia, formerly known by its Italian name, Fiume) rebelled collectively against the dictums of Great-Power politics in the immediate aftermath of World War One. This project argues that the longevity of the city’s challenge to Versailles diplomacy cannot be understood as a simple consequence of the will of the city’s charismatic leader, but instead must be read as a marker of the relative strength a centuries-old city-state had in a continent of not-yet-effective nation-states. This research promises both to contest previous histories of the Rijeka crisis itself as well as to question common understandings of “who” the most effective political actors were in a postwar Europe newly rid of empires but not yet settled into nation-states.