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.

 

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

Kootenay National Park No Stopping Zone in effect

No stopping and area closures during bear

Canal Flats Council briefs

Budgets, zoning, grants and more

Minimum wage goes up again

Increase goes in effect June 1st to $15.20

RCMP Report

Some of the more interesting callouts this past week for Columbia Valley RCMP

Recreation plans, Segways and a take-out restaurant in Radium

Eclectic collection of topics discussed at last Radium Council meeting

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

B.C. sends 267 firefighters to help battle Alberta wildfires

Out of control fires have forced evacuations in the province

Calgary Police looking for missing man who may be heading to B.C.

A man last seen on May 15 in Calgary may be heading to the Kootenay region, according to police

LETTER: Fletcher ‘blurs reality’ on B.C. union public construction

Bridge, highway projects awarded to companies, not unions

Federal government funds millions to help B.C. police spot drugged driving

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test

Most Read