Andrew O’Connor is a first-generation scholar who was awarded a Stuart Hall MA Scholarship to complete an MA in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex between 2016–17.
His primary interests are in the reception and interpretation of new forms of media and the technologies underpinning their distribution and consumption. He was awarded the ’School of Media and Film Dissertation Prize’ for his undergraduate dissertation ‘Streams in the Sound Cloud: an investigation into the changing nature of the musical artefact’ which integrated Frankfurt School ideas of mass culture with audience reception models developed within Cultural Studies.
He is working on two papers for his MA. The first is a study of identity and homelessness, looking at the factors which shape and inhibit a homeless individual’s agency to define, create and perform their identity and drawing on the ideas of Frantz Fanon. The second is an investigation into the architecture and practices of ”torrenting”. This investigation will look at how the integration of various new technologies has opened up a space in which cultural artefacts are being de-commodified, copied, and shared across a de-centred distributive platform, and at how this process of acquisition might be altering the ways in which said cultural artefacts are being received and understood.
Andrew O’Connor: ‘I feel very honoured to have been chosen for the scholarship award, your recognition and support is extremely encouraging.’