Karen Emmerich has a masters in Comparative Literature from the University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, where she specialized in translation studies, textual scholarship, and Modern Greek literature. She spent 2010-2011 as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Program in Hellenic Studies at Princeton University, and in 2011 taught translation studies in the Department of English Studies at the University of Cyprus, before joining COLT in 2012.
Her current research focuses on the material aspects of both poetry and translation, and on the overlap in the tasks of the editor and the translator, particularly with regard to the instability of literary works. She has published articles on the visual and material poetics of Greek poets including C. P. Cavafy, Miltos Sachtouris, and Eleni Vakalo, and on the ways translators and editors have approached, or might approach, the challenges presented by the visual idiosyncrasy and textual instability manifested by these and other works. She is also interested in experimental poetry in an international context, and in experimental modes of translation (visual translation, homophonic translation, radical domestication, etc.)
Her academic commitment to translation as a mode and model for comparative work in the humanities is complemented by her work as a translator of modern Greek literature; she has translated novels, short story collections, and volumes of poetry by Margarita Karapanou, Amanda Michalopoulou, Yannis Ritsos (in collaboration with Edmund Keeley), Miltos Sachtouris, Ersi Sotiropoulos, and Vassilis Vassilikos.