Installed within the MCA exhibition Gary Simmons: Public Enemy, the Reading Room is a space where you can sit, relax, and reflect while digging deeper into Gary Simmons’s multilayered practice.
The MCA invited scholars and cultural thinkers—as well as the artist himself—to contribute reading lists related to topics or themes Simmons explores in his practice, including horror, sports, music, architecture, and education. Their selections, along with texts selected by the curators and other museum staff, are shelved, stacked, and sorted in the museum’s Lake Gallery. Also available in the gallery are bookmarks featuring each of the curated reading lists, as well as a journal to record any thoughts, feelings, or reactions to the material or works on view. We invite you to explore these titles while relaxing at a table or couch in the Reading Room.
This web page features those reading lists, accompanied by a selection of related Spanish-language titles. To find hard copies of these books, try searching Chicago Public Library’s centralized database, or visit the MCA Store or your local independent bookstore.
Gary Simmons: Public Enemy is on view through October 1, 2023.
Lista de Lectura en Español
Una lista de lectura por Antonio Díaz Oliva, escritor y editor del MCA.
A reading list by writer and MCA Editor Antonio Díaz Oliva.
Generación Hip-hop: de la guerra de pandillas y el grafiti al gangsta rap
Rey del mundo: Muhammad Ali y el nacimiento de un héroe americano
El complejo arte-arquitectura
Cómo ser antirracista
Ibram X. Kendi
El origen de los otros
Bass Culture: La historia del reggae
Lloyd Bradley y Tomás Cobos
Cine de Terror
Paul Duncan y Jürgen Müller
A reading list on architecture by artist Amanda Williams.
Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America
Sean Anderson and Mabel O. Wilson
War and Architecture, Pamphlet Architecture 15
Race, Culture, and the City: A Pedagogy for Black Urban Struggle
Stephen Nathan Haymes
Negro Building: Black Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums
Mabel O. Wilson
CriticalProductive: A Journal of Architecture Urbanism and Cultural Theory 1, no. 1
Milton S. F. Curry
A reading list on education by educator Lorena Germán.
This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work
Illustrated by Aurélia Durand
We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom
Bettina L. Love
Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools
Monique W. Morris
My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies
Start Here, Start Now: A Guide to Antibias and Antiracist Work in Your School Community
A reading list on horror by author Kier-La Janisse.
Horror Noire: A History of Black American Horror from the 1890s to Present
Robin R. Means Coleman
Corridors: Passages of Modernity
The Bad Trip: Dark Omens, New Worlds and the End of the Sixties
The Rural Gothic in American Popular Culture: Backwoods Horror and Terror in the Wilderness
Bernice M. Murphy
Nightmare USA: The Untold Story of the Exploitation Independents
A reading list on music by historian Jeff Chang.
Hip-Hop: The Complete Archives
Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth Century America
Saidiya V. Hartman
A reading list on sports by journalist Robert Scoop Jackson.
Black Market: An Insider’s Journey into the High-Stakes World of College Basketball
Foul! The Connie Hawkins Story
David Wolf with Connie Hawkins
Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete
William C. Rhoden
Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball
Lawrence D. Hogan
King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero
From the Artist
A reading list by artist Gary Simmons.
Flyboy 2: The Greg Tate Reader
Darkest America: Black Minstrelsy from Slavery to Hip-Hop
Yuval Taylor and Jake Austen
The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem
Recodings: Art, Spectacle, Cultural Politics
Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices
Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination
Avery F. Gordon
The Power Broker
Flyboy in the Buttermilk
The Man in the Glass House: Philip Johnson, Architect of the Modern Century
Horror at the Drive-In
Gary D. Rhodes (Editor)
Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide
Black Space: Imagining Race in Science Fiction Film
Among the Thugs: The Experience, and the Seduction, of Crowd Violence
Planet of the Apes as American Myth: Race, Politics, and Popular Culture
Birth of an Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation
The Colored Cartoon: Black Presentation in American Animated Short Films, 1907-1954
Christopher P. Lehman
Making Beats: The Art of Sample-Based Hip-Hop
Bass Culture: When Reggae Was King
Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae
Critical Race Theory
Black Girls Matter
Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self
To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism
Rebecca Walker (Editor)
Ghetto Gastro Presents Black Power Kitchen
Osayi Endolyn, Jon Gray, Pierre Serrao, Lester Walker
Son of the City: A Memoir
Entertaining Race: Performing Blackness in America
Michael Eric Dyson
People Funny Boy: The Genius of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry
The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop—and Why It Matters