This paper explores Madeleine Thien's engagement with scientific knowledge as a tool for negotiating risk and trauma in her novels Certainty and Dogs at the Perimeter. I argue that, despite her emphasis on the failure of any one scientific discipline to quell the uncertainties experienced by Asian Canadian diasporas, Thien stresses that such unknowns need to be confronted through multiple avenues, as opposed to a single field of inquiry. I thus argue that, more than simply offering a critique of science, Thien’s novels prompt us to consider how diasporic communities might productively engage with the sciences in order to construct the ecologies of knowledge that are necessary for grappling with the complex histories of trauma that continue to shape their experiences. In this sense, these texts make an important contribution to ongoing efforts to rethink the cultural critique of science in order to produce epistemologies that might “deal simultaneously with the sciences, with natures, and with politics, in the plural” (Latour 3).
Please note that works on the Canadian Literature website may not be the final versions as they appear in the journal, as additional editing may take place between the web and print versions. If you are quoting reviews, articles, and/or poems from the Canadian Literature website, please indicate the date of access.