Riverdale: a comic book turned hit TV show, a comic strip turned murder mystery, a town that is both nowhere and everywhere. Recently renewed for a fourth season, the CW’s popular campy teen drama is notable for its apparent departures from the checkout-stand digests of yore, and has a new witchy counterpart in Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, as well as a projected spin-off in the development of a Katy Keene series.

How might we interrogate – and interpret – Riverdale, Sabrina, and the print works from which they derive as sites of contrasts, conflicts, and intersections? How are the television series reliant on or defiant of their roots as comics? How does this familiar set of characters act and react to its new – yet still-familiar – setting in the “real” world? How do we navigate nostalgia, narrative, genre, and fandom in this ever-expanding multiverse of adaptations?

This collection seeks to place the Archie universe under a multidisciplinary scholarly lens, inviting essays from a wide range of critical approaches to engage with the complex network of issues at play in the comic books, graphic novels, and television series. Contributors may choose to focus on individual issues, episodes, or characters, discuss broader arcs, or explore the logics of production to examine Riverdale as a cultural product.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Identity; (mis)representations of gender, sexuality, race, class
  • (In)justice; Crime, criminality, corruption; angry mobs/the Mob
  • Magic, witchcraft, religion; the supernatural, the occult
  • Literary, filmic, and televisual intertextualities or allusions
  • The Many Archies: adaptation and form
  • Genre; gothic, horror, true crime, teen drama
  • Camp, kitsch, ephemera
  • Metafiction, parody, irony, pastiche
  • Games, role-playing, performance
  • Fandoms, fanfiction and “canon” fodder
  • Fathers, mothers, parents, families; intergenerational alliances and feuds
  • Archie-ology of knowledge: nostalgia, history, memory, trauma

We welcome proposals from scholars in multiple disciplines, including cultural studies, communications, media studies, film studies, performance studies, visual studies, literary studies, sociology, philosophy, gender and sexuality studies, and many others. Contributors are invited to send an abstract of 500 words by August 15, 2019, along with a brief biographical statement no longer than 200 words. Essays accepted for inclusion should be 6000-8000 words, must employ APA documentation style, and will be due by January 15, 2020. Please send proposals to heather.mcalpine@ufv.ca.