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This article presents a genealogy of historical studies of women, gender, intimacy, and empire from the late 1970s to the present day, with specific reference to modern European imperial formations. It begins with the problem of “additive histories,” in which empire is merely affixed to a nation-based story and white women are inserted into historical accounts of empire. The article argues that work on intersectionality and colonial intimacy have complicated the additive history paradigm; in the first case, by complicating the rigid binaries of colonizer and colonized to include gender and sexuality, and in the second, by highlighting how corporality, desire, hybridity, and exchange function in imperial narratives. In turn, this historiographic trajectory questions the categories of (colonial) modernity and problematizes the (colonial) archive.