Natalie Prizel is a scholar of literature and art and aesthetics 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 is currently revising her manuscript, titled "The Good Look: Victorian Visual Ethics and Aberrant Bodies," which juxtaposes queer/crip theory and contemporary aesthetic theory with Victorian aesthetic and ethical thought to consider encounters between disabled and non-disabled subjects in visual art and literature. Putting Victorian aesthetic thinkers such as John Ruskin next to queer theorists such as Eve Sedgwick and José Esteban Muñoz, she argues, allows for a fundamental rethinking of the ethics of looking at aberrant forms in the nineteenth century. Work on this project received support from a Leylan Fellowship at Yale University in addition to a research travel grant from the Yale Center for British Art.
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 or is forthcoming 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. While revising her manuscript, Prizel is currently working on two journal articles: one on Black subjects in Pre-Raphaelite painting under the influence of Venetian Renaissance traditions and another on portraiture and biographical representations of the nineteenth-century blind MP Henry Fawcett. She also has launched a new book project, provisionally titled, "Little Empire: Intimacies Across Imperial Space, 1840-1950," which will consider how aesthetic strategies of bodily intimacy and proximity shape colonial encounters across the British Empire.
At Princeton, Prizel has offered a Freshmen Seminar called “From Wordsworth to X-Men: Disability and the Making of the Modern Subject” and co-taught in the Humanities Sequence “Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture.”
In fall 2019, she will teach an upper-level seminar, crosslisted with English, Art and Archaeology, and Gender and Sexuality Studies, on “Between Desire and Disgust: Victorian Beauty in the Pre-Raphaelite and Aestheticist Traditions” that will make extensive use of the collections in the Princeton University Art Museum. In the spring, she will co-teach “Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture” in the Humanities Sequence once again.