Aaron D. Anderson PhD is Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Theatre, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Assistant Director of the MFA Program in Movement Pedagogy, Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Internal Medicine, Certified Teacher and Fight Director with three international organizations, and Founding Director of VCU’s Standardized Patient Program.
He holds an Interdisciplinary PhD in Culture from Northwestern University and an MFA in Theatre from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.
In addition to his work in theatre and drama, he specializes in qualitative and mixed-method research design, pedagogy and curriculum design, theories of the body and methods of movement analysis. He is a recognized expert on media violence and on the use of theatre training and performance studies in applied social science, and has designed the curricula for several national and international teacher certification programs.
In 2007, Dr. Anderson was awarded VCU’s School of the Arts Award for Distinguished Achievement in Service. In 2008 he shared the Educational Innovation Award from VCU’s School of Medicine for pioneering research in the field of healthcare communication; and in 2012 he was honored with VCU’s School of the Arts’ Award of Excellence.
Other work at VCU includes teaching at the daVinci Center, the Brand Center, the Center for Corporate Education, the MBA Executive Fast Track, the Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute, the School of Nursing, the School of Medicine, the School of Engineering, and other programs. Nationally he also lectures and consults for businesses, healthcare systems, governmental agencies, and leadership institutes.
Publications include work in the journals Jump Cut, Theatre Symposium, The Asian Journal of Communications, Theatre History Studies, The Fight Master, The Journal of General Internal Medicine, Medical Encounters, and The Journal of Investigative Medicine; and in the books Chinese Connections: Critical Perspectives on Film, Identity, and Diaspora, and The Psychology of Empathy.
Classes at VCU include mask and movement, stage voice and speech, theatre history, dramatic literature and theory, and Asian theatre. He continues to work professionally as a fight director and military advisor across the US and overseas.