Panagiotis Roilos was born and raised in Greece. He studied at the University of Athens (B.A./Ptychion in Classics, Byzantine, and Modern Greek Literature) and Harvard University (Ph.D., 1999). He is the President of the European Cultural Center of Delphi, a major cultural institute in Europe, which is based in Athens and Delphi and functions under the auspices of the Council of Europe and the supervision of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture.

Professor Roilos has been a Fellow in Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks and has been offered a Forschungsstipendium für erfahrene Wissenschaftler from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He is the founder and director of the Delphi Academy of European Studies. He has been a member of the “Greece 2021” Committee and serves on the Advisory Board of the research and policy institute Dianeosis. He has been awarded an Honorary PhD from Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens.

Professor Roilos’s publications and research interests center upon postclassical Greek literature and culture, cognitive humanities, comparative poetics, cognitive and historical anthropology, reception studies, medieval and modern literary theory, ritual theory, orality and literacy, European aestheticism (with a focus on Greek and British literature). He has conducted extensive fieldwork on traditional oral literature in South Italy as well as in Crete and the Peloponnese.

He is the author of the books C. P. Cavafy: The Economics of Metonymy (2009; Greek edition [Κ. Π. Καβάφης: Η οικονομία του ερωτισμού], translated by A. Katsikros, 2016); Amphoteroglossia: A Poetics of the Twelfth-Century Medieval Greek Novel (2005); Towards a Ritual Poetics (2003; co-author with D. Yatromanolakis; Greek edition [Προς μία τελετουργική ποιητική], translated by Manos Skouras and with a preface by Marcel Detienne entitled "For an Anthropological Approach," 2005; Italian edition [Verso una poetica rituale], translated by Chiara Rizzelli Martella and with a preface by Marcel Detienne, 2014); and, more recently, of “Lamenting Greece”: On Early German Philhellenism (16th and 17th Centuries) (in Greek; forthcoming).

His major publications include also the books Greek Ritual Poetics (co-editor; 2005); Imagination and Logos: Essays on C.P. Cavafy (editor; 2010); Medieval Greek Storytelling: Fictionality and Narrative in Byzantium (editor; 2014); From Byzantium to the Early Greek Enlightenment: Books, Writers, and Ideologies in Early Modern Greek Contexts (Late 15th–Early 18th C.) (editor; forthcoming).

In collaboration with Dimitrios Yatromanolakis he has published the expanded and revised English (2002) and the expanded and revised Greek edition ( Τελετουργικός Θρῆνος στὴν Ἑλληνικὴ Παράδοση, 2002) of Margaret Alexiou's The Ritual Lament in Greek Tradition (Cambridge 1974).

Professor Roilos is currently completing a book on hyperreality, the crisis of representation, and posthumanism, entitled Neomedieval Metacapitalism. His new book project is a study of the history of imagination in late antiquity and Byzantium (Postclassical Imaginaries: A Cognitive Anthropology of Late Antique and Byzantine Phantasia).

He is the author of numerous articles in areas of his expertise. The following list includes representative examples of these publications:

  • “Orality and Performativity in Erotokritos,” Cretan Studies 7 (2002): 213–230.
  • “The Politics of Writing: Greek Historiographic Metafiction,” Journal of Modern Greek Studies, 21/2 (2004):1–23.
  • “The Novels of Nikos Kazantzakis: Heteroglossic Narratives and Ideological Misinterpretations” (in Greek), in Nikos Kazantzakis: His Work and Its Reception, Herakleion, 2006, 271–293.
  • “Ekphrasis and Ritual Poetics: From the Ancient Greek Novel to the Late Medieval Greek Romance,” in A. Bierl et al. (eds.), Literatur und Religion: Mythisch-Rituelle Strukturen im Text, Munich, 2008, 335–358.
  • “The Seduction of the ‘Real’: Personification and Mimesis in C.P. Cavafy,” in P. Roilos (ed.), Imagination and Logos: Essays on C.P. Cavafy, Cambridge, Mass. 2010, 219–244.
  • “Orality, Ritual, and the Dialectics of Performance,” in K. Reichl (ed.), Medieval Oral Literature, Berlin, 2011, 225–249.
  • Phantasia and the Ethics of Fictionality in Byzantium: A Cognitive Anthropological Perspective,” in P. Roilos (ed.), Medieval Greek Storytelling: Fictionality and Narrative in Byzantium, Wiesbaden, 2014, 9–30.
  • “‘Unshapely Bodies and Beautifying Embellishments’: The Ancient Epics in Byzantium, Allegorical Hermeneutics, and the Case of Ioannes Diakonos Galenos,” Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik 64 (2014): 231–246.
  • “Ancient Greek Rhetorical Theory and Byzantine Discursive Politics: John Sikeliotes on Hermogenes,” in T. Schawcross and I. Toth (eds.), Reading in the Byzantine Empire and beyond, Cambridge, 2018, 159–184.
  • "Satirical Modulations in 12th-Century Greek Literature," in P. Marciniak and I. Nilsson (eds.), Satire in the Middle Byzantine Period, Leiden and Boston 2021, 254–278.
  • "Anti-Humanist Utopia and the Avant-Garde: Theodoros Dorros's Theoretical Manifesto Intelligence" (in Greek); in Th. Agathos et al. (eds.), Studies in Twentieth-Century Greek Literature, Athens 2020, 473–496.
  • "Greek Hauntologies and Disjointed Times: Temporality and Tropes of Indebtedness from British Aestheticism to the Current European Crisis," Journal of Mediterranean Studies 28 (2019): 1–15.

Professor Roilos has co-founded and co-edits the book series Cultural Politics, Socioaesthetics, Beginnings and Harvard Early Modern and Modern Greek Library. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the international research project Poetics before Modernity: Literary Criticism from Antiquity to the Enlightenment.

He is the chair of the Mahindra Humanities Center Seminar on Modern Greek Studies. He is a Faculty Associate of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies and of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (WCFIA). He is the co-founder and co-chair of the Research Seminar “Cultural Politics: Interdisciplinary Perspectives” at WCFIA.

Professor Roilos is a member of the Standing Committee on Medieval Studies; of the Byzantine Studies Steering Committee; and of the Committee on Degrees in Folklore and Mythology. He has also been a member of the Committee on Freshman Seminars for many years.

His numerous invited lectures include the 2007 Opening Lecture at the Center for Hellenic Studies (Washington, DC), the 2009 European Commission Lecture in Greek Culture (co-sponsored by Dumbarton Oaks), the inaugural lecture of the Circle of Hellenic Academics in Boston (2014), and lectures at the Delphi Economic Forum.

In addition to his teaching in the field of modern Greek Studies (e.g. on the Nazis and the Greeks and the occupation of Greece by the "axis" powers; C. P. Cavafy; Nikos Kazantzakis; modernism; Greek world literature; the Greek historical novel; the history of Greek literature and culture from the 15th c. to the present), Professor Roilos offers courses on literary and cultural theory, comparative poetics, cognitive humanities, and reception studies, including seminars on hyperreality; the history of imagination from Plato to Castoriadis; "ritual poetics"; irony; allegory; oral literature; Greek antiquity and modern philosophical thought and critical/cultural theory.