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Center of Integrative Studies in the Arts and Humanities
Fintz Teaching Award
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The Fintz Award for Teaching Excellence in the Arts and Humanities recognizes outstanding tenure-stream faculty who, in keeping with the goals of integrative studies, seek to make students familiar with different ways of knowing and artistic expression and to assist them in developing critical thinking and effective communication skills. Every year CISAH recognizes two IAH faculty members with the Fintz Award (one in IAH 201-210 and one in IAH 211-241). The Fintz Award is possible thanks to an endowment provided by Professor Ken Waltzer, former director of CISAH, to honor his father. The selection of candidates, final recommendations made by the CISAH Advisory Committee, and awards ceremony take place during the spring semester of each year. IAH tenure-stream faculty may receive the Fintz Awards only once every three years.


Stephan Arch

Professor Steve Arch

The Fintz Awards Committee is pleased to honor Stephan C. Arch, Professor of English, for his outstanding teaching of IAH 207 on the Gothic in Literature and Art in Spring and Fall 2017. As Professor Arch explains in his syllabus, the courses focused on the Gothic as “a mode of writing and seeing that intimates that the rational, logical, ordered world around us is in fact filled with hidden depths, dark secrets, perhaps even terrible, horrible things – monsters, mysteries, lawless desires, death.” The committee was impressed by the course’s strong interdisciplinary emphasis on the Gothic as a “lens” through which the arts and humanities interact with the diversities of the human experience “in different places and at different times to speak to different cultural and social needs.” The awards committee was especially impressed by Professor Arch success at engaging student learning in 400-student lecture-based courses.

The degree to which Professor Arch engaged student interest and learning in a large lecture courses is abundantly evident by the many student comments supporting his nomination for a teaching excellence award. Two comments, one from each semester, exemplify the overall student feedback from both courses:

  • Professor Arch was very knowledgeable about the subject and very interesting to listen to his point of view. I feel he also handled what I would consider "heated" situations like talking about racial, sexual, and gender differences very professionally. With some text being placed in times where there were cultural differences from now, he was able to communicate the train of thought of people at the time. As a student who hasn't really been interested in reading and critical thinking, Professor Arch helped [me] to change that with the different points of view, knowledge, and excitement while teaching. (Spring 2017)
  • Professor Arch is a fantastic example of a professor that has a statement to make, an agenda if you will. This agenda is quite simple. READ. Enjoy reading, enjoy learning about things that you don't quite understand but will once you research into the text. He admitted himself his lack of interest (due to a lack of knowledge) in gothic literature but took a chance to learn from it and did so. He inspires students to try to step out of the comfort zone and examine the world differently. (Fall 2017)

Professor Arch is the author of two books: Authorizing the Past: The Rhetoric of History in Seventeenth-Century New England and After Franklin: The Emergence of Autobiography in Post-Revolutionary America, 1780–1830. His scholarly articles have appeared in Early American Literature, Studies in American Fiction, The William and Mary Quarterly, and other prestigious journals. In 2015, he published a critical textual edition of James Fenimore Cooper’s 1838 novel, Homeward Bound (New York: AMS Press). A companion edition of Cooper's sequel, Home as Found, will be published in 2018. He serves as Associate Lead Editor of The Writings of James Fenimore Cooper.

Arch’s current research interests include gothic literature, scholarly editing, and the literature of sports. He is developing a collection of essays on teaching Cooper’s novels (for MLA) and preparing a classroom edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables (for Broadview Press). He served as Chair of the Department of English from 2007-2012, and as associate chair from 1998-2003 and in 2006. He was a Fulbright scholar in the Netherlands in 1996.


Ethan Segal

Professor Ethan Segal

The Fintz Awards Committee is pleased to honor Ethan Segal, Associate Professor of History, for his outstanding teaching of IAH 241G, “Japanese Film and Culture” in Fall 2017. This newly created course examines Japanese culture through a variety of disciplines in the humanities, such as film, theater, music, literature, philosophy, and religion. It allows students to explore contemporary J-pop music, read best-selling Japanese novels, and even write their own versions of traditional Japanese noh plays. Professor Sega’s course is not simply an introduction to the culture of Japan but rather a course that helps students recognize and understand universal human conditions, such as friendship, family relations, environmental issues, and the negative impact of technological development. The awards committee was impressed by the innovative format of his course: with five class hours per week, the course includes a two-hour evening movie screening slot so that students can watch each assigned film in full, in one sitting.

Two student comments explaining why each would nominate Professor Segal for a teaching excellence award exemplify the overall feedback from students in the course:

  • Professor Segal was a professor who you can tell cared about the students, and he cared about the subject matter. He was open and honest with us, and he was flexible if need be for office hours and helping us students.  Again, he organized this class so well, probably the best I've had here at State, and that's saying a lot since I've been here for 5 years.  And Lastly he was extremely interested in what he was teaching, which was translated in class. The things and way he taught us were cool and interesting! I actually liked this class.
  • Professor Segal is a dedicated, enthusiastic professor who obviously knows his stuff. He comes in with a good attitude and tries his best to engage students in discussions on the course topic that are both interesting and informative. 10/10 would recommend.

Professor Segal is a scholar of traditional East Asia with a particular focus on Japan.  He earned his M.A. from the University of Washington, his Ph.D. from Stanford University, and was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Tokyo.  In 2008-09, he was Visiting Assistant Professor of Pre-modern Japanese History in Harvard University’s Department of East Asian Languages & Civilizations. Topics of Professor Segal’s research and teaching include economic history, nationalism, women and gender, history and film, contemporary popular culture, and Japanese textbooks. Professor Segal’s first book, Coins, Trade, and the State: Economic Growth in Early Medieval Japan (Harvard University Press), re-examines money, trade, and evolving medieval political and social institutions. His articles also appear in several academic journals and edited volumes.


 Fintz award recipients in previous years