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

Archie and his Riverdale world are subject of UFV conference

Second annual event takes place in Abbotsford on Wednesday, March 13

The popular Netflix series Riverdale is the subject of a conference on Wednesday, March 13 at the Abbotsford campus of University of the Fraser Valley (UFV).

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 laughs.

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,” McAlpine said. “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.”

The conference is open to the public and takes place at University House at UFV.

Panels begin at 9 a.m. There is no registration fee, but organizers ask that those attending register in advance to make sure they brew enough coffee and set up enough chairs.

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

 

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

VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Mouat Mudder returns to Abbotsford

Second annual obstacle course race raises funds for Abbotsford Fire Department Charitable Society

RCMP target speeders between Abbotsford and Surrey in month-long blitz

Officers throughout the province launch Swoop campaign

Abbotsford working to ease building permit backlog: mayor

Mayor Henry Braun said tripling of applications has slowed down approval process

Spring/summer season of exhibits opens at The Reach

Opening reception on Thursday, May 23 at Abbotsford gallery-museum

Two week lock down lifted for Kent Institution

A search at the prison found nearly 26 grams of hashish and a cellphone

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Coquitlam RCMP release video in search for witness to crash that killed girl, 13

Witness is described as a slim Asian man with short, black hair, no facial hair and wearing glasses

Four rescued from Golden Ears mountain

Hikers from Surrey started out for Evans Peak at 6 p.m.

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Most Read