Professor Emeritus Bariša Krekić passed away on 12 January at the age of 92. Prof. Krekić was a historian of medieval and renaissance Eastern Europe, an Emeritus of UCLA, and a prolific scholar.
Born in Dubrovnik in 1928, Bariša Krekić studied at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Belgrade. From 1951 he worked at the Byzantine Institute of Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences where he concluded his Ph.D. with the topic of Dubrovnik and Levant (1280 – 1460). From 1956 he worked as an assistant and professor at the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Novi Sad. In 1957 – 1958 and in 1960 he spent time at Sorbonne, while from 1967 he was teaching as guest professor of Balkan, SE European, Dalmatian, Italian, Byzantium, and Russian history at universities Indiana and Stanford. From 1970 he is a professor at UCLA where he also directed the Centre for Russian and East European Studies and where he became Emeritus in 1994.
The main interest of Prof. Krekić’s research was the history of Dubrovnik in the middle ages. He particularly studied the relationship of Dubrovnik with other Dalmatian and Mediterranean cities, giving special attention to the comparative analysis of their social, economical, and political history. All of his research had a strong foundation in archive findings and his work overcame the traditional focus on the political history of Dubrovnik, opening it towards the history of social tendencies, economy, daily life, and women. His main works are Dubrovnik (Raguse) et le Levant au Moyen Âge, 1961, Dubrovnik in the 14th and 15th Centuries: A City between East and West, 1972), Dubrovnik, Italy and the Balkans in the Late Middle Ages, 1980), Dubrovnik: A Mediterranean Urban Society, 1300–1600, 1997), Unequal Rivals: Essays on Relations between Dubrovnik and Venice in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, 2007)
Prof. Krekić was also a great friend of Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik, being a member of the IUC Executive Committee from 1978 to 1981 and serving as a Vice-Chair of the IUC Council from 1981 to 1988. During this time, he helped develop the IUC programmes and established great links not only to UCLA but also to numerous other academic institutions.
He always stayed connected to his beloved Dubrovnik and to IUC friends, cooperating with local scholars at the Institute of Historical Sciences in Dubrovnik.
His numerous historical works remain his permanent legacy, but Bariša Krekić will remain in the memory and hearts of all of his friends and colleagues.