The Centre for Caribbean Studies was established in October 1984 with assistance from the Leverhulme Trust and the Nuffield Foundation. It was the first such Centre in the UK to recognise the significance of the Caribbean region and its historically interdependent linkages with the UK and the world. Its principal aim is to stimulate teaching and research on the Caribbean. It also encourages the study of the Caribbean in an Atlantic context, emphasising African, North and South American, Asian and European influences from a comparative, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspective. Additionally, it serves as a national forum for individuals and organisations with an interest in and concern for the diaspora as well as those countries bordering the Caribbean.
In 2010 on its 25th anniversary, the Centre was re-named the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies in honour of the Guyanese philanthropist and businessman and in recognition of his long association with and support for the Centre, which has grown to become one of Europe’s leading institutions for Caribbean scholarship.
The current director of the Centre is Fabienne Viala (Hispanic Studies).