Glen Norcliffe was born near Liverpool during the Second World War.  He received a BA from the University of Cambridge, an MA from the University of Toronto, and a PhD from the University of Bristol.  In 2006 he was awarded a D.Sc. by the University of Bristol.  He has been a member of the Geography Department at York University for over 50 years, including terms as Chair of Geography, and Director of the Graduate Program in Geography.  He is currently Professor Emeritus of Geography and Senior Scholar at York University.  His research is focused on the diverse geographies of industry and of its (de)globalization, on the geographical construction of technology, the performance of the economy in various geographical settings and, recently, adaptive technologies aiding the mobility of persons with disability.

As an economic geographer, Glen Norcliffe’s research since the 1960s has taken him to four continents.  He has written or edited twelve books and over one hundred and twenty articles and chapters.  Some of his books are:

  • Inferential Statistics for Geographers: An Introduction(1977; second edition 1981; translated into German and Polish).
  • (with Tom Pinfold, eds,) Planning African Development: The Kenyan Experience (1981;   re-issued in 2010 in the Routledge Revivals series).
  • (with Don Freeman) Rural Enterprise in Kenya: Development and Spatial Organisation of the Nonfarm Sector (1985).
  • (with Paul Simpson-Housley, eds)  A Few Acres of Snow: Literary and Artistic Images of Canada (1992).
  • The Ride to Modernity: The Bicycle in Canada 1869-1900  (2001).
  • Global Game, Local Arena: Restructuring in Corner Brook, Newfoundland  (2005).
  • Critical Geographies of Cycling: History, Political Economy and Culture (2015 - Routledge)
  • The Routledge Companion to Cycling.(Lead editor: 587 pages with 83 contributors) (2022)

He has held visiting research positions at the University of Bristol, l’Université Lumière (Lyon 2), Manchester University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, and the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing. He has served as Director of the York-Kenya Training Program, responsible for selecting and training senior Kenyan civil servants in aspects of economics, regional development, environmental management, and economic geography.  With Don Freeman, he co-directed a research project funded by CIDA examining rural non-farm activities in Kenya’s Central Province.  With Roger Hayter, John Holmes, Suzanne McKenzie, Valerie Preston and Damaris Rose he was engaged in a cross-Canada study of restructuring of the Canadian newsprint industry, funded by SSHRC.  More recently he has worked with colleagues at the National Taiwan University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Central University of Finance and Economics on trading relations between China and Canada and the formation of Global Production Networks, funded by SSHRC and also by research agencies in China and Taiwan.  For many years he has been absorbed in the representation of industry by artists (the image above is Van Gogh's 1887 Usines à Clichy).

In 2003 he received the Award for Scholarly Distinction in Geography from the Canadian Association of Geographers, he has been awarded SSHRC and York Faculty of Arts Research Fellowships, he was awarded the Fairman Prize of the American Precision Museum and the Robert McNair History Award of the American Wheelmen for his contributions to the geography of cycling. He was recently awarded the distinguished alumna award by the University of Toronto's UTAGA. He has successfully supervised seven doctoral students and twenty-eight masters students.

Faculty of Urban and Environmental Change
York University
4700 Keele Street
Ontario M3J 1P3, CANADA
Ph:  416-736-5252
E-mail: gnorclif@yorku.ca