Laina Dawes is the author of What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal (Bazillion Points, 2012). She is also a freelance music and cultural critic and concert photographer. Her writings and photography can be found in the journal Coon Bidness, the anthology, Marooned: The Next Generation of Desert Island Discs and print and online publications and radio programs, such as Flavorwire, MTV Iggy, Bitch magazine, Invisible Oranges, The Wire UK, Noisecreep, NPR, the Toronto Star, Exclaim! Metal Underground.com, Hellbound.ca and CBC Radio. She also runs the blog, Writing is Fighting.
Laina has guest lectured at colleges and universities in Canada and presented at both academic and non-academic conference in Canada and the United States on issues surrounding black feminism, and the intersectionalities between music (rock, metal, hardcore and punk) race, gender and cultural identity. She is currently a graduate student in the Liberal Studies department at The New School for Social Research in New York City.