Homebound: Reflections on Spatial Difference as a Suburban Child


  • Sunjay Mathuria Concordia University


In this paper, I reflect on my experiences growing up in the suburbs and how I connected with spatial texts on television and in novels while being homebound. I discuss how Canadian youth television and literary texts offer those who are spatially limited or less mobile (such as suburban children) to observe how others navigate spatial difference and injustice, and reflect on their own relationships with place. For myself, the Degrassi series and Ready or Not provided insight into how a familiar place (Toronto) can be represented, especially when coupled with children navigating class and mobility. Laurence Yep’s historical fiction novels depict early Chinese American experiences, and similarly offered an understanding of how child protagonists spatially respond to discrimination and injustice. These reflections, in turn, allowed me to contemplate my own sense of place and while homebound, not feel as isolated.

Author Biography

Sunjay Mathuria, Concordia University

PhD student in Geography at Concordia University. Through my research, I would like to look into spatial resistance and spatial narratives within literary fiction and understand how they exist alongside official planning narratives from the same cities. I also have a background in city planning, with a Master of Planning and a Bachelor of Journalism (Journalism and English majors). 


Mathuria, S. (2011) The Living and Breathing City: Representations of Urban and Suburban Toronto in Canadian Youth Television. Canadian Studies thesis. Dalhousie University.

Reimer, M. (2008) Home Words: Discourses of Children’s Literature in Canada. Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier University Press.

Yep, L. (1975) Dragonwings. New York: Harper Collins.

Yep, L. (1991) The Star Fisher. New York: Scholastic Inc.

Yep, L. (2005) ‘The Outsider in Fiction and Fantasy.’ The English Journal, 94(3), pp. 52-54.






Thinking Space