John Rennie Short is an expert on urban issues, environmental concerns, geopolitics and the history of cartography. He has studied cities around the world, and lectured to a variety of audiences. Recent books include: The Rise and Fall of The National Atlas (2022), Geopolitics: Making Sense of a Changing World (2021), Stress Testing The USA (2021, 2nd ed.), World Regional Geography (2019), Hosting The Olympic Games: The Real Costs for Cities (2018), The Unequal City (2018), Human Geography (2018, 2nd ed), A Research Agenda for Cities (2017), Urban Theory (2015, 2nd ed.), Cities and Nature (2013, 2nd ed.) and Globalization, Modernity and The City (2012).
Before coming to UMBC in 2002, he was a Professor in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. From 1978 to 1990 he taught at the University of Reading UK. He has held visiting appointments as Senior Research Fellow at the Australian National University, as the Erasmus Professor at Groningen University and as the Leverhulme Professor at Loughborough University. Among his research awards are a Fulbright Fellowship, the Vietor Fellowship at Yale University, the Dibner Fellowship at the Smithsonian, the Kono Fellowship at the Huntington Library and the Andrew Mellon Fellowship at the American Philosophical Society. His work has been translated in Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese.