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Riverdale “semi-academic” conference

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On Sunday, academics and fans gathered in UFV Abbotsford campus’ U House for a semi-academic conference to discuss the CW and Netflix teen drama, Riverdale.

The conference, titled “Riverdale: A Land of Contrasts” gave presenters from a variety of backgrounds the opportunity to showcase their Riverdale-related thoughts, work, and research.

Heather McAlpine, UFV English professor and one of the event’s organizers, said this was the first semi-academic, “fun conference” she’s been a part of, but she’d love to do it again.

“We had strong presentations (a mix of scholarly papers, first-person talks, and creative projects), and good attendance,” McAlpine said.

Around 40 people, made up of a mix of UFV faculty and students, students from other universities, and members of the public attended the conference over the course of the day.

Discussion topics included the history of Archie comics, the character’s inevitable mortality based on the show’s “time-bound” world, and an artist’s reimaging of the Archie world in a body-positive light, among others.

The day ended at Rocko’s Diner, the Mission diner that’s filmed as Pop’s Diner in the show, where attendees enjoyed burgers and shakes.

McAlpine said that if it feels right, there could be another similar conference next year.

I’m not sure whether Riverdale itself will continue to occupy the same sort of place in our psyches next year that it does now… maybe something else will come along that would be fun to pursue. I’m open to suggestions. Regardless of topic, the format was just so much fun.”

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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