The St. Mary’s College of Maryland Anthropology Department will host Laura M. Ahearn for the lecture “Love Letters, Language, and Learning: An Anthropologist’s Journey,” on Monday, Feb. 26, at 4:45 p.m. in Cole Cinema, Campus Center. The event is free of charge and open to the public.

Ahearn will reflect on the path she has traveled as an anthropologist, which began with several years serving in the Peace Corps in Nepal. Returning to the same village where she taught as a volunteer, she conducted research on changing courtship and marriage practices, focusing in particular on love letters, which were only made possible by the increase in literacy among the village women.

She will also discuss how one can apply anthropological skills in many different work settings. Recently, Ahearn left academia after 20 years to work on organizational learning with the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Ahearn is a senior monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning specialist on USAID/LEARN. She has held faculty positions at the University of Michigan, the University of South Carolina, and Rutgers University. She is the author of numerous articles and two books, “Invitations to Love: Literacy, Love Letters, and Social Change in Nepal” and “Living Language: An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology.”