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

Riverdale themed conference returning to UFV on Friday

Abbotsford event doing a deep dive on the popular show back for third year

Academics and fans once again have the opportunity to dive deep into the world of the popular show Riverdale on Friday in Abbotsford.

The University of the Fraser Valley hosts the third annual Riverdale themed pop culture event, this year entitled Ride or Die: The Riverdale Universe, A Semi-Academic Conference.

Organizers say that the event’s schedule boasts a dozen presenters, all of whom are unabashed nerds. The group is ready and willing to defend and critique the program to the death.

Similar to the conferences in the past, roundtable panels on a variety of different topic related to the show and its universes are discussed, with presenters giving 10-minute talks followed by discussion. Every type of presentation can be submitted, including creative or hybrid proposals, art projects, performance art, or photo essays that examine or respond to the show.

Possible topics could be gender, sexuality, racial or class identities in the show, allusions, crossover theories, geographic discussions, set design and anything and everything related to the show.

Conference coordinator and UFV associate professor of English Heather McAlpine stated that the show creates vibrant conversations about the intersections of fandom and academia.

“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 stated in a press release. “The humanities 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.”

RELATED: Riverdale actress Lili Reinhart rescues puppy from Langley shelter

The Riverdale spin-off The Chilling Adventure of Sabrina will also be discussed at the conference, and the fact that the show is filmed in and around Aldergrove, Mission, Vancouver and Langley adds to the fanaticism of the local fan base.

“The location definitely gives us a special connection,” stated Dessa Bayrock, one of the members of the conference planning committee, a UFV graduate now studying in Ottawa who flies into Abbotsford every year for the conference. “We make fun of it, but in a loving way — a way that also celebrates the show. It’s like making fun of a sibling; there’s a little bit of cruelty, yes, but at the end of the day, we’re family.”

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.

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

And then, suddenly, it wasn’t a joke.

“Here we are, two years later, and it’s still gaining momentum,” McAlpine said. Last year, the organizers took on a related project — namely, compiling a book of critical essays about Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which was quickly taken on by an academic publisher and will be hot off the press early next year.

But, she said, the conference is still the same as they’ve always loved it: just a group of nerds in a room, cracking jokes and sharing the equivalent of academic conspiracy theories.

RELATED: Mission’s Rocko’s Diner goes Hollywood

The free and public event occurs inside the South Asian Studies Institute (Building F) on campus. Panels begin at 9 a.m., and this year includes a staged reading, an interactive choose-your-own-adventure-style fan fiction that attendees will play as a group and many other activities.

Four seasons of the show have been produced, and it was announced in January that a fifth season will be occurring.

For more on the event, visit FraserValleyRiverdale.Wordpress.com.

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

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

UPDATE: Police oversight agency investigating after shots fired Saturday night in Chilliwack neighbourhood

RCMP reported a ‘distraught male’ fired at police officers on Christina Drive – IIO is on scene Sunday

VIDEO: Suspected drunk driver caught on dashcam in Abbotsford

Police say they located vehicle, nearby intoxicated man, but couldn’t tie him to the driver’s seat

Prospera Credit Union, Westminster Savings lay off over 100 staff following historic merge

2020 merger was largest credit-union merger in Canadian history

Fraser Health declares COVID-19 outbreak at Abbotsford fruit processing plant

Five employees at Nature’s Touch test positive, facility voluntarily closed until May 25

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The importance of accurate, ethical reporting is critical – perhaps as never before

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Most Read