Natalie Prizel is a scholar of literature, art, and aesthetic thought in Victorian Britain. She received her Ph.D. in English from Yale University and her B.A. in English and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies from University of Maryland—College Park. She came to Princeton from a Visiting Assistant Professorship at Bard College. Prizel’s first project, “Innocent Eyes: Victorian Ethical Optics and Aberrant Bodies” (under review at Oxford University Press), shows how Victorian aesthetic and ethical ideas, particularly those of John Ruskin, treat encounters between disabled and non-disabled subjects in visual art and literature. In so doing, the book demonstrates how Victorian writers and artists anticipate the terms of contemporary queer/crip theory.
Prizel's work—on queer/crip theory, the nineteenth-century Black Atlantic, Victorian beggars, lesbian literary traditions from the Victorian period to the present, and Victorian ekphrastic poetry and trans aesthetics—has been published in GLQ, Victorian Studies, Victorian Literature and Culture, and Victorian Poetry. She has also written on pedagogy and other subjects for the online forum V21. She is currently working on a commissioned piece for Literary Compass on genre, race, and portraiture in Ford Madox Brown’s "The Irish Girl."
Prizel has begun work on a second book project, entitled: “Dark Waters: Oceanic Aesthetics, Black Bodies, and the British Empire,” which considers once again optical ethics in regards to bodies, as well as the aesthetic strategies deployed in visual and verbal renditions of the Black Circum-Atlantic of the nineteenth-century and beyond. Work on this project has thus far included an exploration of Black bodies in Pre-Raphaelite painting and a treatment of J.M.W. Turner’s so-called history paintings according to Édouard Glissant’s idea of “nonhistory.”
At Princeton, Prizel has offered a Freshmen Seminar called “From Wordsworth to X-Men: Disability and the Making of the Modern Subject,” an upper-level course, “Between Desire and Disgust: Victorian Beauty in the Pre-Raphaelite and Aestheticist Traditions.” She has also co-taught in the Humanities Sequence “Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture.” She is currently teaching a course supported by a Mellon Grant from the Princeton University Art Museum called, “Fashioning the Self, Rendering Others: Verbal and Visual Portraiture from the 18th Century to the Present.”