Caylee Dzurka

Previous Education

M.A. Archaeology, University of York, UK (2019),
B.A., Archaeology and English Literature, University of Toronto (2018)


Dr. Peter Whitridge


Arctic Archaeology, Dorset Archaeology, Gender in Prehistory, Queer Archaeology, Landscapes, Zooarchaeology, Human-Animal Relationships, Dorset Art.

Research Statement

My research addresses the lack of investigation into the presence of gender variance and LGBTQ2S+ identities in Canadian Arctic archaeology, particularly in Paleo-Inuit communities. In the Eastern Arctic, gender performances in Late Dorset communities have often been reconstructed through analogies to those of pre-contact Inuit. However, most studies have grafted the Western binary of male and female onto Inuit cultures without accounting for gender variance. Given that recent research has shown that pre-contact Inuit gender systems do not align perfectly with Western gender systems, my research focuses on how incorporating queer Inuit perspectives into our reconstruction of Late Dorset gender performances impacts our understanding of gender in that culture. Through consultations with LGBTQ2S+ Inuit and re-designing several “traditional” methods for studying gender in prehistory (such as artifact spatial distributions, human-animal relationships, and artistic representations of the body), I am determining how gender functioned in Late Dorset society, how it was similar or dissimilar from precontact Inuit gender, and characterizing the gender performances of Dorset men, women, and those who defied binary categorization.