Professor Johnson talk about digital humanities and its relation to postcolonial history and legacy within the U.S. made me think of the ideology of the fourth wall and how individuals perceive/interact with other individuals through a screen or some sort of barrier. The ideology of the “Fourth Wall” comes from the idea of an audience and its relation to actors/actresses in a play. If you think of a play set of having three traditional walls and then the part of the stage that is facing the audience is open for the audience to view the characters, then this open space between where the stage ends the audience begins is theoretical boundary. The boundary is not a physical but yet it exists between audience and performer.
I believe when learning and understanding history comes through a digital lens that this fourth wall theory in many ways applies to this new learning. An individual is learning about a people and a story through a lens that is not quite physical yet also not personal. Digital humanities has the capability to connect people from the 21st century to individuals who lived in the 19th century because the internet has given allowed for a enormous amount of information to be put online. We can now learn personal details and histories that would once only exist in a particular library in a particular city. Digital humanities is that powerful fourth wall in modern day education and learning. Professor Johnson’s talk evoked a sense of connection to the between students and historical events such as the middle passage and slavery. People of the 21st century can now partake in the lives of others digitally through their writing, music, and art.