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

Seven Days in Chilliwack

A list of community events happening in Chilliwack from May 26 to June 2

Seabird Island opens 50th annual festival

The weekend festival will see First Nations teams compete in soccer, three-pitch and canoe races

Chilliwack school district estimates costs of tampons, pads at $22,500 annually

Free menstrual products to be provided in washrooms and medical rooms by end of 2019

Police find loaded rifle in car of ‘prolific offender’ prohibited from driving

Tyler Houle of Abbotsford arrested Wednesday in Chilliwack

Pedestrian struck in Chilliwack suffered life-threatening injuries

83-year-old transported to hospital by air ambulance after Thursday incident on Keith Wilson Road

VIDEO: Powwow shares culture at Seabird Island Festival

The 50th anniversary of the festival saw its first powwow

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say boy, 11, missing for two days found safe

Dominic Mattie was last seen at 5 p.m. in the 13500-block of Gateway Drive in Surrey

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read