Take a College Course About Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain, the famed chef and globetrotter who allowed the rest us to see the world through his unique and engaging lens, will soon be the subject of a college course.

Nicholls State University Professor Todd Kennedy, head of the Louisiana school’s film department, has announced that he will begin teaching a course this spring called “Anthony Bourdain and His Influencers,” according to CNN.

Kennedy told CNN that Bourdain created television shows that were some of the most film-like in the history of the small screen, and among the most innovative on television.

During interviews he gave over the course of his career, Bourdain said that when picking countries to visit for his shows, he would often start with a movie that he loved and find a place where he might be able to apply the look of that movie. The famed chef, whose untimely passing earlier this year devastated legions of fans around the world, viewed the shows he made for television each week as mini independent films.

All of which is a large part of the reason why Kennedy has chosen to create a college course about Bourdain.

“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.

Kennedy also said he sees literary influences in Bourdain’s storytelling.

Students who participate in Kennedy’s upcoming course will begin by reading Bourdain’s early work “Kitchen Confidential,” in which he pulls back the curtain on the culinary industry.

The course’s syllabus also includes “Between Meals: An Appetite of Paris” by A.J. Liebling, a book CNN described as one of Bourdain’s primary inspirations for food writing.

Each week the course will focus on one Bourdain episode and a novel or film that the professor feels had an influence on Bourdain.

The intriguing course will also discuss one of Bourdain’s favorite places in the world, Vietnam, encouraging class participants to think about what influenced the chef turned television star’s exploration of the vibrant Asian country.

The course offers a fascinating and detailed look at a man whose passing left an unfillable gap in the world of travel journalism. And it’s not only prospective students who are looking forward to the opportunities the class presents.

“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,” Kennedy told CNN.

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