Ivana GuarrasiIvana Guarrasi

Email Address: iguarras@ucsd.edu


University of California, San Diego, Ph.D., Communication, 2017

California State University, Long Beach, M.A., Linguistics, 2009

Prešov University, Slovakia, M.A., English Language and Literature; Aesthetics, 2005


Ivana Guarrasi studies human patient simulation in medical and nursing education, specifically, the use of standardized patient performers trained to portray a patient with a disease. Her dissertation project "The Standard in the Body: An Ethnographic Reading of Standardized Patient Laboratory Simulations" demonstrates how standardized patient performers and educators in the simulation laboratory draw on multiple practices and heterogeneous techniques to produce an institutionally configured medical standard. She considers the central role of multimodality in situated human action in the simulation laboratory.

Examining the training of the standardized patient’s subjectivity to become a reliable training and testing instrument Guarrasi analyzes the process of inscribing the bodies of performers with clinical standards of care. She shows that patient simulation cannot be analyzed merely as a representation – the imitation of the clinical reality – but as the practice of composing, performing and sustaining the standard in the body of the standardized patient performer, one that is lived, discoursed, and articulated both culturally and socially, intersubjectively co-constructed, and materially co-constituted.

Using ethnographic approaches to studying practices of standardization and quantification, her work is situated at the intersection of communication studies, medical visualizations of the body in science and technology studies (STS), and medical humanities.


Practices of standardization, Medical and nursing education, Simulation, Multimodal interaction, Embodiment, Micro-ethnography


  • Guarrasi, I. (2015) "Residual Categories in Medical Simulation: The Role of Affect in the Performance of Disease," Mind, Culture, and Activity, 22(2), 112-128
  • Vasquez, O. A., Guarrasi, I., & Carr, R. (2012) "Designing Curriculum and Building Minds: Developing Readiness for Science-Related Skills and Dispositions," Research report prepared for the Rokenbok Educational Foundation (p. 27). La Jolla, CA: University of California, San Diego
  • Guarrasi, I. (2011) "Hidden Geographies: The Schooling of Roma Students in Slovak Primary Education," International Journal of Arts & Sciences 4(8), 193-222