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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Faculty & Staff Directory

Gabriel Finkelstein, Ph.D.

Gabriel Finkelstein

Associate Professor

Email: Gabriel Finkelstein
Office Location: Academic Building 1, Office #3126
Phone: (303) 315-1787
Fax: (303) 315-1780
Areas of Expertise:

  • Germany
  • Science
  • Exploration

Education & Degrees

  • Ph.D., History, Princeton University, 1996
  • B.A., Physics, Amherst College, 1985

Emil du Bois-Reymond is the most important forgotten intellectual of the nineteenth century. My biography, now available from MIT Press, received an Honorable Mention for History of Science, Medicine, and Technology at the 2013 PROSE Awards.


Currently I am working on a study of the challenges that “scientific historians” presented to discipline of history during the 1860s and 1870s.


At the University of Colorado Denver I teach courses on Modern Germany, Modern Europe, History of Science, History of Medicine, History of Exploration, and History of War.

  • Emil du Bois-Reymond: Neuroscience, Self, and Society in Nineteenth-Century GermanyCambridge; London: The MIT Press, 2013.
  • “Emil du Bois-Reymond’s Reflections on Consciousness.” In Brain, Mind, and Consciousness in the History of Neuroscience, ed. Chris Smith and Harry Whitaker, ch. 10, 163-184. Dordrecht; Heidelberg, New York; London: Springer, 2014.
  • “Emil du Bois-Reymond on ‘The Seat of the Soul.’” Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 23, no. 1 (January-March 2014): 45-55.
  • “Matteucci and du Bois-Reymond: A Bitter Rivalry.” Archives Italiennes de Biologie: A Journal of Neuroscience 149, no. 4 (December 2011): 29-37.
  • “Emil du Bois-Reymond versus Ludimar Hermann.” Comptes Rendus Biologies 329, nos. 5-6 (May-June 2006): 340-347.
  • “M. du Bois-Reymond Goes to Paris.” British Journal for the History of Science 36, no. 3 (September 2003): 261-300.
  • “Romanticism, Race, and Recapitulation.” 
Science 294, no. 5549 (7 December 2001): 2101-2102.
  • “‘Conquerors of the Künlün’? The Schlagintweit Mission to High Asia, 1854-57.” 
History of Science 38, pt. 2, no. 120 (June 2000): 179-218.

Courses Taught

  • Hist 4029: Age of Anxiety
  • Hist 3121: The World at War
  • Hist 3606: Science, Technology, and Society in the Modern World
  • Hist 4071: Modern Germany
  • Hist 4074: Postwar Germany
  • Hist 4621: Travel and Exploration
  • Hist 4839: History Seminar
  • Hist 6931: Graduate Readings in European History

    Fall 2014:  TBD.  Please email​.