If you are going to take a course in college would you want to take Art History, Organic Chemistry, Calculus or a class all about Anthony Bourdain? You’d select the Anthony Bourdain course not only because it will have the same importance out of college than those other classes, but you’ll get to do research on how the Negroni cocktail was created in Florence, Italy.
Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana, will be offering a course titled “Anthony Bourdain and His Influencers” starting in the spring of 2019. The three-credit course will be about all things Anthony Bourdain, the famous chef, TV host, globetrotter, and best-selling author.
Professor Todd Kennedy, head of the Louisiana school’s film department, announced the new class on his Twitter.
Prospective students quickly wanted to sign up for the intriguing class.
At the start of Bourdain’s travel shows such as No Reservations and Parts Unknown, he would often make a reference to a movie that reminded him of the city or region that he was exploring. Professor Todd Kennedy, who heads the Nicholls State University Film Studies program, said Bourdain created TV shows that were some of the most film-like in the history of television and some of the most innovative.
“I started realizing in almost every episode there’s these obscure visual allusions to films that probably only he and his cinematographers were likely to know,” Kennedy told CNN.
Students will start the course by reading Bourdain’s early literary work such as his New York Times bestseller book “Kitchen Confidential,” where the celebrity chef exposes some of the secrets and scandals in the culinary industry. The course’s syllabus also includes “Between Meals: An Appetite of Paris” by A.J. Liebling, a book that inspired Bourdain’s venture into food writing.
Each week, the course will focus on one episode of a Bourdain TV show as well as a novel or film that had a profound influence on the No Reservations host. “I thought about how original he was putting together literature, film, travel and food. In my profession, we look to see how these things come together in culture. I thought it would be a good idea for a class,” said Kennedy, who has taught at the university for the past six years.
“I’m excited about it, in some ways more than any other class I’ve taught, but for a class that seems so pop culture and shallow, it’s really proving to be the exact opposite: It’s the most layered of an onion of a class I’ve ever taught, with some of the most complicated themes,” said Professor Kennedy, who holds a Ph.D. doctorate in 20th century American literature and film.
Enrollment for the course begins next month, and there is a plan to offer a lighter version of the class that is available online.
Bourdain died on June 8, 2018, where he was found dead from an apparent suicide by hanging himself at Le Chambard hotel in Kaysersberg, France. The 61-year-old TV personality was filming an episode of Parts Unknown in nearby Strasbourg and his body was discovered in the hotel room by his friend and fellow chef Eric Ripert.
The final season of Parts Unknown has already started airing.