Basel's Global Paradise: Research in Virtual Reality and Global History
Project Leaders: Prof. Dr. Susanna Burghartz, Prof. em. Dr. Madeleine Herren-Oesch, Prof. Dr. Hans Bjarne Thomsen
Team: Davina Benkert, Dr. phil.Cornelia Knab, Lars Kury, Sorin Marti, Lisa-Marie Zoller-Blundell
In 2019, the Institute for European Global Studies moved into the so-called "Sandgrube," the former summer house of the silk ribbon manufacturer Achilles Leisler. This location represents the research field of European Global Studies perfectly: Starting from this house, a wide variety of economic and cultural connections have emanated to Europe and around the world since the 18th century. These connections reflect the local representation of the global as well as the global influences on the city's local self-understanding. Among these connections are the original Chinese wallpapers used to furnish the Chinese Room on the second floor of the house, the exotic gardens staged for global cosmopolitanism, or the far-reaching financial and commercial relations of its residents. Today, the "Sandgrube" is an artifact for all traces left over in a local Basel environment by centuries of global exchange.
The project "Basel's Global Paradise" was founded in spring 2021. It explores the architecture of the Sandgrube as well as its artwork and history. It is driven by researchers from various disciplines and professional backgrounds. The scholars bring together expertise in global history, art history, digital humanities and architecture.
The project website features several research outputs that have been made accessible to the public as interactive, web-based applications:
- A virtual tour of the Sandgrube's Chinese Room
- A series of expert talks on the history of the Sandgrube
- Regular news updates from the project