John "Jack" Vertovec

John "Jack" Vertovec

Graduate Student | PhD Candidate

Currently, I am a Ph.D. candidate. My dissertation project examines how structural conditions (e.g., state policies/regulations, resource scarcity, etc.) create different opportunities and challenges for a diverse group of entrepreneurs in Cuba, and how these entrepreneurs conceptualize and utilize local and global resources to navigate these conditions. Since 2012, I have worked extensively with a wide range of entrepreneurs in Havana, from very small-scale formal and informal business owners to non-profit community projects who use entrepreneurial strategies to effect positive social change in local settings. Theories on intersectionality, informal economies, social entrepreneurship, and post-Soviet economic transformations guide this research. In fall 2019, I also facilitated a PhotoVoice project with 15 community leaders from 7 different community projects from 7 separate neighborhoods in Havana. The primary goal was to visually unveil and critically analyze the greatest opportunities, challenges, and primary goals of a diverse range of communities. The project's facilitation also revealed sharp spatial inequalities in Havana. The gallery of photos is currently being shown in Marianao and Arroyo Naranjo, Havana, Cuba. It will be curated for a gallery in Miami in March 2020.

In addition to my work in Cuba, I am also a member of other pan-Caribbean research teams that utilize ethnographic methods to address health vulnerabilities. With four pan-Caribbeanist scholars, I recently published the introduction to the special issue: “Applying a Caribbean perspective to an analysis of HIV/AIDS” (Global Public Health 2019) which establishes the importance of transdisciplinary multi-level approaches to HIV/AIDS that are macro-level in scope but simultaneously attend to how large-scale dynamics are inflected in situated contexts and histories.

For a complete list of solo- and co-authored presentations and publications, please take a look at my CV: Curriculum Vitae

For more information on my research and professional experience, please visit my personal website: