This College Is Offering a Class on Anthony Bourdain (But You Don't Have to Go There to Take It)
The travel host's legacy lives on in the classroom.
Anthony Bourdain‘s legacy lives on in the classroom.
Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana is offering a course about the chef, who died by suicide in June, in their spring semester.
The class, according to a course summary posted on Twitter by professor Todd Kennedy, will include lessons about both Bourdain’s writings and TV shows and the “writings and films that influenced him.”
“What he did is so unique,” Todd Kennedy tells PEOPLE. “We talk about connections between literature and film and art and politics and history, but we’re always trained to talk about them separately. He goes all in and puts all those things, along with food, in conversation to try to understand the culture he’s looking at. And that speaks to people.”
Kennedy says that Bourdain’s death allowed him to reevaluate what he really liked about the celebrity chef, prompting the class. One of the most surprising facets he learned was how much of Bourdain’s work was inspired by classic film and literature.
“I picked up on a lot of the references,” Kennedy says. “But I wasn’t quite aware how pervasive it was. Quite often, he picked locations after he picked the movie. He was so committed, that’s how he approached a lot of his travel.”
RELATED VIDEO: Anthony Bourdain Wins Posthumous Emmys: He ‘Always Coveted’ This Award, Producer Says
Audiences hungry for a class about Bourdain don’t need to travel to Parts Unknown. The college will also be offering an online, accelerated version of the course.
Kennedy tells PEOPLE that the online course makes it easier for students at other universities to get credit for taking the class. While the course is listed as a literature class, it may also become a space for aspiring chefs to pay homage to the late personality.
“One of the reasons we thought about this class is because we have a large culinary arts program at Nicholls,” he says. “We thought it would be an interesting elective for some of those students.”
Those interested will need to act fast if they want to enroll. “So, it’s happening. For real,” Kennedy wrote on Twitter. “And I doubt they ever let me do it again.”
Kennedy clarified to PEOPLE that given the positive social media reception, the university may add classes “as necessary.” In the meantime, Kennedy is working on building his ideas about Bourdain into “some sort of print.”
The twelfth and final season of the Emmy-winning TV series Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown airs on Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET on CNN.