Milton Fernando Gonzalez Rodriguez

Dr Milton Fernando Gonzalez Rodriguez is Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellow at the Cultural History since 1750 at KU Leuven and member of the Leuven Centre for Health Humanities (LCH²).

He studies the historical evolution, circulation and materialisation of cultural artefacts from an epistemic, visual and linguistic standpoint. The focus of his research lies on how everyday and presumably trivial artefacts, objects, and rituals encode/produce knowledge and how they can be used to obtain data on the set of assumptions, attitudes and beliefs societies have about themselves, O/others, their surroundings and the natural world.

In his current project, Remedial Nature; Medicinal Efficacy in Images and Words since the Advent of Mass Media in Western Europe (Marie Skłodowska Curie Individual Fellowship, EU Horizon 2020, Grant Agreement 101026198) (ReMedial Nature), he explores how cultural representations, materialised in health-enhancing consumables, have been mobilised historically to imply a relation between nature, medicinal efficacy, (peripheral) identities and alternative (un)scientific knowledge(s).

Fernando completed his PhD in visual culture at the University of Amsterdam in 2019 and was previously affiliated with the University of Iceland. In 2022 and 2023, Fernando is a Visiting Scholar at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science (University of Cambridge) and Leibniz Institute for Educational Media | Georg Eckert Institute (Leibniz Association).

His publications include the monographs Indigeneity in Latin American Cinema (Bloomsbury, 2022), and Ontologies and Natures: Knowledge about Health in Visual Culture (Lexington / Rowman and Littlefield, 2022).

At gloknos, Fernando will be convening a series of interview podcasts and preparing an animated documentary (animentary) during the Lent term 2023. The series Epistemic Semiotics explores the ways in which visual culture has historically registered the circulation, interpretation and reception of knowledge within and across epistemic systems. Some of the objects of study discussed in the seminar include, for instance, packaging of pharmaceuticals, scientific visualizations, daily consumables and instructional leaflets.

The animentary Remedial Nature: Biomolecules, Knowledge and Markets delves into the ways in which visual strategies have been used to mobilise and commodify knowledge that is not perceptible to the naked eye. Some of the topics include the historical promotion of proteins and vitamins in media, ideas about miraculous panaceas, entomophagy (insects as part of human diet) in the 21st century in Western Europe and the birth of superfoods.