Michael Saler

Michael Saler Portrait

Position Title

SSH 3203


  • Ph.D., History and Humanities, Stanford University, 1992
  • B.A., double major in History and European Cultural Studies, Brandeis University, 1985, Summa Cum Laude


Michael Saler studies the intersections among science, technology, literature, the imagination, secularism, spirituality and aesthetics during the 19th and 20th centuries. Underlying his research and teaching is an exploration of how “wonder” and “belief” have been understood within a secularizing world. His reviews have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, The Nation, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and other publications.

Research Focus

Modern European intellectual and cultural history.


  • Saler, M. (Ed.) (2014) The Fin-de-Siècle World, Routledge
  • Saler, M. (2012) As If: Modern Enchantment and the Literary Prehistory of Virtual Reality, Oxford University Press.
  • Saler, M., & Landy, J. (Eds.) (2009) The Re-Enchantment of the World, Stanford University Press
  • Saler, M. (2006) “Modernity and enchantment: A historiographic review,” The American Historical Review 111:3, 692-716
  • Saler, M. (1999) The Avant-Garde in Interwar England: ‘Medieval Modernism’ and the London Underground, Oxford University Press


Regularly scheduled courses include: Three upper-division lecture courses on Modern European Intellectual History, 1780 to the Present (History 147A, B and C); Historiography (History 101); a lower-division survey course on Modern Europe from the 18th Century to the Present (History 4C). For the University Honors Program, courses have included “An Intellectual History of Film Noir” and “Science Fiction and Modernity.”


  • The Fin de Siècle World (Routledge, 2014) named a Choice “Outstanding Academic Title of 2015”
  • As If: Modern Enchantment and the Literary Prehistory of Virtual Reality (Oxford University Press, 2012) named one of the “Best Books of 2012” by The Huffington Post
  • 2003-04 Finalist, ASUCD Excellence in Teaching Award
  • 2001–2001 Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center
  • 1999 Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award, University of California, Davis.
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Junior Year