Reflecting on Rollerblading Over the Past: A deconstruction of a Sociohistorical City Space


  • Mark Currie University of Ottawa


sociohistorical spaces, repeated representation, racism, banality of Whiteness, somatic disorientation/reorientation


Positioning rollerblading as a form of walking, I critically reflect on my experience rollerblading to work in downtown Toronto. I never questioned whose land these roads were covering, what it meant that I could read all of the street names, nor my feelings of unconditional belonging as a Mixed-Race, White-passing, English-literate man. In this paper, I argue that everyday elements of the cityscape (re)shaped a racist sociohistorical geography and my place within it. I employ as a framework Hall’s (1980) concept of articulation, Stanley’s (2011) understanding of racisms as exclusions and Puwar’s (2004) concept of somatic dissonance. Through this lens, I deconstruct how my act of rollerblading exemplified the banality of the sociohistorical city space and unknowingly enacted the dominance of Whiteness.

Author Biography

Mark Currie, University of Ottawa

Mark Currie is a PhD Candidate and Educator in the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa. His research focuses around public pedagogies, sociohistorical space, and enacting antiracisms. His doctoral work examines how the Ontario Black History Society’s walking tour acts as an educational tool (re)shaping sociohistorical spaces as antiracist geographies.