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

CN train derailment cleared between Terrace and Prince Rupert

The CN mainline is now open, following a train derailment mid-way between… Continue reading

Kitimat’s BC Hydro substation receives a massive upgrade

It will cost $82 million to ensure that LNG Canada has enough… Continue reading

Comment requested for Kitimat LNG’s expansion plans

Company says radical redesign means additional export is possible

Haisla Nation Council appoints Stewart, Renwick

Two recently elected Haisla Nation councillors, Kevin Stewart and Arthur Renwick, have… Continue reading

Relief in sight from open burn pollution

New regulations should cut down on air pollution

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

Most Read