The hit Netflix series Riverdale is the subject of a conference on March 13 in Abbotsford.

Archie and his Riverdale world are subject of B.C. university conference

Second annual event takes place in Abbotsford at the University of the Fraser Valley on March 13

The popular Netflix series Riverdale is the subject of a conference this week at the Abbotsford campus of University of the Fraser Valley.

The second annual “The Riverdale Universe: A Semi-academic Conference” features 16 presenters, a full day of panels and a choose-your-own-adventure-style interactive project.

It wraps up with a milkshake social at Rocko’s Diner in Mission, where parts of the Riverdale pilot were filmed.

The name of Netflix’s reimagined Archie Comics universe is familiar to just about everyone in the Fraser Valley.

It’s not only a binge- and cringe-worthy fast-paced teen drama with questionable plot points, but a show that has become well-known for filming in and around Aldergrove, Vancouver and Langley.

As conference coordinator and associate professor of English Heather McAlpine can attest, Riverdale is capable of sparking a vibrant conversation at the crossroads of fandom and academia.

“When I made my opening remarks at last year’s conference, I think I said something like, ‘Welcome to what we believe to be the first, and very likely the last, academic conference about Riverdale.’ The whole thing seemed so impossible, and equally as wonderful,” McAlpine laughed.

The whole thing started as an inside joke on Twitter, when McAlpine and several other UFV professors, graduates, and students started comparing their experiences of binge-watching Riverdale in 2017.

RELATED: Luke Perry, of ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ and ‘Riverdale’ fame, dies

RELATED: Mission’s Rocko’s Diner goes Hollywood

“We were cracking jokes about it, and someone made a joke about starting a conference,” McAlpine said.

And then, suddenly, it wasn’t a joke. It blossomed into a full-fledged conference, drawing presenters from around the country.

“Here we are, a year later, and it’s still gaining momentum. We have more presenters, some of them coming from as far away as Ottawa and Montreal.”

It’s something she finds hilarious but also amazingly gratifying. And while sometimes she gets odd looks when she lists Riverdale alongside her other research interests — which largely focus on Victorian poetry — she sees it as all related.

“This conference shows how the tools and techniques that you learn by studying the humanities can enrich your experience of everyday life and the culture that’s all around you,” McAlpine said.

“The humanities, and English, are not just about studying ‘great works’. They’re about making sense of the culture we think of as ordinary, too — understanding how it’s doing what it’s doing, whether you love it or hate it.”

Registration and the full schedule are available online at FraserValleyRiverdale.Wordpress.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Riley Dueck presents a paper at last year’s conference discussing a crossover theory between Riverdale and Stranger Things, another Netflix series. (Submitted photo)

Just Posted

Buller Street self-isolation site for homeless dismantled

The site was cleared to meet the September 30 deadline to close

Heavy rains raise concerns over storm water run-off in Holland Creek

Town says they are working with developers to review soil erosion plans

McNab’s Corn Maze is open for pumpkin patch season

The famed farm will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. until October 31

Downtown Public Washroom project ‘shovel ready’ thanks to FortisBC community grant

FortisBC has awarded the Ladysmith Kinsmen Club $15,000 toward the Downtown Public Washroom project

LRCA Volunteer Counselling Program receives $7,500 boost from Oyster Bay Microtel

The Microtel raised funds through the MasterBUILT Common Ground program

B.C. starts October with 82 more positive COVID-19 tests

10,899 tests a record for a single day, Bonnie Henry says

Missing mushroom picker in northern B.C. found dead

Witset elder found deceased in Price Creek area more than two weeks after he vanished

BC Greens focus on long-term care reform in first platform promise

Greens have promised to move away from the for-profit care home model

‘It’s a nightmare’: Northern B.C. family desperate after living in hotel for a year

Renae Podgorney says because of a lack of rentals, she’s now applying to rent a one-bedroom unit

Costs climb to more than $100K for BC SPCA to care for animals in B.C. farm seizure

Eight puppies, of the 97 animals seized have now died from parvovirus enteritis

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. VOTES 2020: Wilkinson to stop 24-hour camping in city parks

Ban on ‘unsafe roadside panhandling’ to be enforced

Bathtub power propels Cedar motocross racer to B.C. title

Seby Sulyok wins his division in FutureWest provincial series

Be prepared and drive safely, say BC RCMP as winter draws closer

Police provide list of ways to stay safe while driving in winter conditions

Most Read