Edward Spencer

Colleges, School and Institutes


Following undergraduate studies on the joint course at the University of Manchester and Royal Northern College of Music, I freelanced as a horn player and worked with Manchester Camerata, Manchester Concert Orchestra, and Northern Chamber Orchestra. I then embarked on postgraduate research and completed a DPhil thesis at the University of Oxford.

Research interests

I work with Christopher Haworth on the AHRC project Music and the Internet: Towards a Digital Sociology of Music. I am currently investigating the ‘web history’ of popular electronic music 1990-2020. This involves explorations of archived mailing lists on hyperreal.org, analysis of exchanges on dubstepforum.com, and digital ethnography in social web spaces devoted to the PC Music label.

My doctoral research investigated the role of the drop in Electronic Dance Music (EDM), with a focus on the Harlem Shake meme of 2013 and the alt-right weaponization of the drop during the 2015-2016 US Presidential Race (a period also known as ‘The Great Meme War’). My published work to date is concerned with EDM and ASMR content on YouTube and involves analysis of YouTube comments.