Published 9:35 PM EDT Sep 29, 2018
One professor in Louisiana is cooking up something new for students who want to learn about the late Anthony Bourdain – a class inspired by the famous globetrotting chef.
Titled "Anthony Bourdain and His Influencers," the three-credit course will be offered at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana, starting in spring 2019.
"So, it's happening. For real. And I doubt they ever let me do this again," tweeted Todd Kennedy, the head of the university's film department and instructor of the Bourdain-based course. "So spread the word to interested Nicholls students."
Bourdain, an author, chef and TV host, was found dead of apparent suicide in June at age 61. His Emmy winning show "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" still airs on CNN. He was working on an episode of the show centered in Strasbourg, France, at the time of his death.
In the film studies class, which can also substitute for some English class credits, students will compare some of Bourdain's most famous work with the writings and films that influenced him.
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Students who aren't majoring in English or film can take the class as an elective.
"I've always enjoyed his shows. I wasn't obsessed per se, but after he died it affected me more than I thought it would," Kennedy said to USA TODAY.
He said that the late documentarian hit all the right notes, creating some of the most imaginative and innovative films ever seen on the small screen over the course of his career.
"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," Kennedy said.
Kennedy pitched the idea of the class to the department chair and received almost immediate approval.
He said that he has students who are eager to enroll in the class.
"Some are fans of him and some don't know very much about him, but they seem to like classes that encompass many different subjects," he said. Kennedy, who holds a Ph.D. doctorate in 20th century American literature and film, has taught at the university for six years and first introduced students to Bourdain's work through other classes he teaches.
"At NSU we like to broaden our horizons, and having out-of-the-box classes like this makes us unique," said Aubrey Simmons, 22, a senior psychology major who took one of Kennedy's classes her freshman year. "I think it would be perfect. South Louisiana is known for our delicious and unique food. I would certainly take this new class and recommend it to my peers."
The announcement of the new offering hit all the right notes for graduates of NSU who playfully lamented on Twitter.
"Why do the cool things happen after I graduated?" writes Twitter user Gabbie Montz.
"Can I come sit in? I wasn't ready to graduate," writes Twitter user MegRodriguew.
Enrollment for the course begins sometime next month, and eventually, the class will have a lighter version, served as a half-semester online-option.
"For this class to work, it's gonna create more work for me than any single class ever has," tweeted Kennedy. "So while I'm excited, I'm leery. But I'm still glad I'm doing it."
Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown