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This article examines the relationship between self-formation and clothing as a contact zone in Sandra Cisneros's "Eleven," Achy Obejas's "We Came All the Way from Cuba So You Could Dress Like This?" and Alicia Partnoy's "The Denim Jacket" as well as in the film El Norte and the documentary Señorita extraviada. Exploring the cultural conflicts that unfold on the surface of clothing, I contend that these literary and cinematic texts offer richly nuanced moments in which a character interacts with a garment to illuminate the complex relations between biological bodies and social contexts. In these texts, cloth operates both as a limen and as the creased and occasionally threadbare map of a life; whether to take a garment off, put it on, throw it away, or hold on to it becomes a matter of ethical significance, of practicing a particular kind of relationship to oneself.