Albrecht Diem has studied history in Düsseldorf, Tübingen and Utrecht. He received his PhD in 2000 from Utrecht University with a thesis on the late antique and early medieval monastic discourse on chastity and sexuality (published 2006 as Das monastische Experiment. Die Rolle de Keuscheit bei der Entstehung des westlichen Klosterwesens). From 2005-2007 he was a research fellow of the FWF-Wittgenstein project „Ethnic Identities in Early Medieval Europe“. He teaches at Syracuse University (NY) since 2007 (since 2011 as tenured associate professor). He was a fellow of the Pontifical Institute for Medieval Studies in Toronto (2001-2002), the Institute for the Studies in the Humanities in Madison, WI (2010-2011) and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (2015-2016).
His research focuses on the history of monasticism in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. He published on monastic rules, female monasticism, gender and sexuality, the history of emotions, pastoral care, and monastic education, and developed the Monastic Manuscript Project (earlymedievalmonasticism.org). As a member of the Wittgenstein-Project he worked on the interplay between monastic and ethnic identities. Currently he writes a book on the development of regular observance in early medieval monasticism.
- with Matthieu van der Meer: Columbanische Klosterregeln: Regula cuiusdam patris, Regula cuiusdam ad virgines, Regelfragment De accedendo, St. Ottilien: EOS-Verlag 2016.
- ‘Teaching Sodomy in a Carolingian Monastery: A Study of Walahfrid Strabo’s and Heito’s Visio Wettini’, in: German History 34 (2016), pp. 385-401.
- ‘Columbanian monastic rules: dissent and experiment’, in: Roy Flechner and Sven Meeder (eds.), The Irish in Europe in the Middle Ages: Identity, Culture, and Religion, London: Palgrave Macmillan 2016, pp. 68-85 and 248-249.
- ‘The Carolingians and the Regula Benedicti’, in: Dorine van Espelo, Bram van den Hoven van Genderen, Rob Meens, Janneke Raaijmakers, Irene van Renswoude, and Carine van Rhijn (eds.), Religious Franks Religion and power in the Frankish Kingdoms: Studies in honour of Mayke de Jong, Manchester: Manchester University Press 2016, pp. 243-261.
- ‘Gregory’s Chess Board: Monastic Conflict and Competition in Early Medieval Gaul’, in: Philippe Depreux, François Bougard, and Régine Le Jan (eds.), Compétition et sacré au haut Moyen Âge : entre médiation et exclusion, Turnhout: Brepols 2015, pp. 165-191.
- ‘Who is Allowed to Pray for the King? Saint-Maurice d’Agaune and the Creation of a Burgundian Identity’, in: Gerda Heydemann and Walter Pohl (eds.), Post-Roman Transitions. Christian and Barbarian Identities in the Early Medieval West, Turnhout: Brepols 2013 (Cultural Encounters in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, vol. 14), pp. 47-88.
- ‘The Gender of the Religious: Wo/Men and the Invention of Monasticism’, in: Judith Bennett and Ruth Marzo-Karras (eds.), The Oxford Companion on Women and Gender in the Middle Ages, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2013, pp. 432-446.
- ‘Inventing the Holy Rule: some observations on the history of monastic normative observance in the Early Medieval West’, in: Hendrik Dey and Elizabeth Fentress (eds.), Western Monasticism ante litteram. The Spaces of Monastic Observance in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, Turnhout: Brepols 2011 (Disciplina Monastica, vol. 7), pp. 53-84.
- ‘Monks, kings and the transformation of sanctity. Jonas of Bobbio and the end of the Holy Man’, in: Speculum 82 (2007), pp. 521-559.