Dr Ana-Maria Milčić

Associate Lecturer

Thesis: D’Annunzio’s Futurists: Modernism and Fascism in an Occupied City, 1919–1920

Supervisor: Prof. Sarah Wilson

CHASE AHRC funding award (20172021)

The Courtauld Scholarship (20172020)

One of the most exciting moments related to Futurism and politics occurred in the city of Fiume (present-day Croatia) when the Italian poet-soldier Gabriele D’Annunzio, with Futurists in the military ranks, occupied the city in 1919. Circumstances were favourable for developing a utopian version of Futurism as a civic practice.

This thesis takes part in research which sees the occupation as a moment of Futurist theory coming into practice and Futurism and fascism as manifestations of the Italian struggle for modernity. I will participate in the arena of critical studies by exploring art’s position within the ideology of fiumanesimo, arguing that some practices were part of the Futurist movement while others escaped such categorisations. In addition, I will argue that the occupation made evident Marinetti’s and D’Annunzio’s different approaches to art, but similar approaches to politics. This critical study of Fiume during the Italian occupation will also re-evaluate the historical context by prioritising questions of gender, labour and the traces left by the Fiume experiment on Futurism. Furthermore, the research will look at satirical representations of the occupation in the Croatian and Italian press claiming that similar tropes were found in caricatures of both countries.


2017–2022: PhD, Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

2011–2014: MA in Art History, University of Rijeka, Croatia.

2008–2011: BA in Art History, University of Rijeka, Croatia.

Research interests

  • Futurism and Italian fascism
  • Futurism and feminism
  • Interwar European avant-garde art and politics
  • Political satire and disgust


2018/19 and 2019/20: Teaching Assistant, Core Methodologies (MA), The Courtauld Institute of Art.

2019/20: Teaching Assistant, Foundations (BA1), The Courtauld Institute of Art.

2020/21: Teaching Assistant, Frameworks for Interpretation (BA2), The Courtauld Institute of Art.

2020/21: Associate Lecturer, Techniques and Meaning in 20th Century Art (BA1), The Courtauld Institute of Art.

2022/23: Associate Lecturer, Lessons in Critical Interpretation (BA3), The Courtauld Institute of Art.

2022/23: Associate Lecturer, Avant-gardes and Neo-avant-gardes  (BA1), The Courtauld Institute of Art.


D’Annunzijeva mučenica | L’Olocausta di D’Annunzio | D’Annunzio’s Martyr, exhibition catalogue, (Rijeka: Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral, 2019).

From Gowns to Uniforms and from the Palace to the Brothel: Women’s Lives and Political Allegory in D’Annunzio’s Rijeka, 1919-1921’, Casopis za povijest Zapadne Hrvatske, vol.13, 2018, pp.13-35.

Biennale mladih jugoslavenskih umjetnika u Rijeci, 1960.-1991.’, Peristil, vol. 58, 2015, pp. 171-182.

Conference Papers

‘A Centre of Transgression Between 1919 and 1920? The Futurists in Fiume and the Silenced Multi-ethnic Archive’, EAM 2022 Conference – Globalising the Avant-Garde, University of Lisbon, 1–3 Sept 2022.

‘Whose Revolutionary Utopia? Futurism and Failure in Fiume between 1919 and 1920’, Revisiting the Avant-Garde Total Work of Art, University of Leuven, Irish College, 23–24 May 2022.

‘Regenerating Italian Masculinity after the First World War: Gabriele D’Annunzio and the Futurists during the 1919 Occupation of Fiume/Rijeka’, AAH Annual Conference, Newcastle, 1–3 Apr 2021.

‘Droppings from the Sky: Futurist Interwar Protests and Fears’, IAS-sponsored session for the 108TH CAA ANNUAL CONFERENCE, session topic From Cloaca Maxima to America: Italy’s ‘History of Shit’, Chicago, Feb 12–15 2020.

‘Decadent Revolutionaries: The Futurists’ Communication Strategies during the Occupation of Rijeka, 1919 – 1921’, Revolution and Revolutions in Art, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana, 12–13 Sept 2019.

‘Sexual Borders: Visualizing the Occupation of Rijeka in 1919’, Cities and Regions in Flux. Reconfiguring the Frontier, Reshaping Memory and Visualizing Change in Twentieth century, The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Rijeka, 10–12 Jul 2019.

Curated exhibitions

D’Annunzijeva mučenica | L’Olocausta di D’Annunzio | D’Annunzio’s Martyr, Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral, Rijeka, Croatia, 12 Sept 2019 – 31 Jan 2021 (Co-curator).
Bućan art, Villa Polesini, Poreč, Croatia, July 2014 (Curator).
First World War and Avant-garde Art: Deconstruction–Construction, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia, 26 Jun 2014 – 28 Sept 2014 (Co-curator).
Umjetnik na odmoru (Artist on Vacation), Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia, Sept 2014 (Curator).

Other Academic Activities

Co-Editor-in-Chief, immediations, the peer-reviewed postgraduate journal of the Courtauld Institute of Art, 2019.

Co-organizer, Researching Conflict in the Humanities: Challenges, Practices and Methods, CHASE DTP funded project.