Colin Clarke grew up in Worcester and studied geography for his undergraduate degree and doctorate at Jesus College, Oxford. His research interests include urbanization in developing countries, especially the Caribbean and Latin America; race, ethnicity and class; and peasantries. He is a geographer whose research interests overlap with history, anthropology and sociology. He has published eighteen books and more than 120 research papers and book chapters.

In 2020 he signed a contract with Palgrave Macmillan for a book which will bring together his previous research on slavery in the Caribbean with his recent work on the Holocaust at the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen. This book is to be entitled Racist Regimes, Forced Labour and Death: British Slavery in the Colonial Caribbean and the Holocaust in Germany and Occupied Europe; it is anticipated that it will take two years to write.

Colin Clarke is an Emeritus Professor at Oxford University and an Emeritus Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford. He has taught at the Universities of Toronto and Liverpool, where he was, until 1981, Reader in Geography and Latin American Studies. He has published eighteen books and more than one hundred and twenty articles. In 2011-12 he was a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen, carrying out funded research into the Holocaust in wartime Germany and the occupied territories as part of a project to compare this racist regime with slavery in the British colonial Caribbean.

He received the Gold Medal of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 1999, and in 2003 was ‘lifted up’ in Oxford by Sri Chinmoi to mark his contribution to human development in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2004 he was awarded the degree of DLitt, Oxford in recognition of his research and publications on Latin America and the Caribbean.