Does Renaissance Theory mean anything more than “theories about the Renaissance,” on the one hand, or “art theory in the Renaissance” on the other? In this introduction, as is also true of the essays and conversations that follow, I propose to deal to some degree with both. And yet, is there something that connects the Renaissance more deeply to the very notion of “theory”—at least as we mean it today, in the early twenty-first century, following the age of “high theory” in American academia? If I might try to define high theory, I would call it the emergence of the European post-68, post-structuralist critique of the European philosophical tradition in the new context of the United States, a culture both exuberantly capitalistic and antiintellectual-and one that had partially, but only partially, absorbed that tradition in the first place.