This article combines historical and life-writing approaches to demonstrate how caste is made invisible in histories and structures of education, canonical knowledge, and research. As a dominant-caste (savarna) Bengali academic, the author follows caste-oppressed feminists to offer a methodological intervention that challenges several ways in which castelessness is reproduced in feminist scholarship. The author asks why savarna write castelessly. “Writing castelessly,” wherein caste reflexivity is absented from analysis, solidarity, and teaching, is one manifestation of savarna feminists’ historical-material relation to caste. Narrating regional caste histories of savarna Bengalis, the author shows that her practice of writing castelessly is founded on material structures of power—historically claimed monopolies over culture and education, land, labor, and political representation. Relatedly, another reason savarna write castelessly is that disciplinary training in social sciences in higher education taught the author to think, feel, read, and write castelessly. Finally, the author traces the reproduction of these disciplinary structures in her scholarship. Ultimately, this self-critique grounded in historical and material relations of caste seeks a feminist readership invested in public accountability and denaturalizing Brahminical merit in academia.

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