Skip to main content
Sign In

University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

History Logo

Faculty & Staff

Christopher Agee

Assistant Professor​

Office Location: King Center 544
Phone:(303) 556-6648
Fax: (303) 556-6037
Areas of Expertise:
  • Twentieth-Century U.S. History
  • Urban History 
  • Social and Cultural Movements
  • Crime and the Criminal Justice System

  • Ph.D.,  History, University of California, Berkeley, 2005
  • M.A.,     History, University of California, Berkeley, 2000
  • B.A.,      History, University of California, Berkeley, 1998 Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa


My research focuses on twentieth-century American history, with particular focuses on political history, urban history, social and cultural movements, gender history, and oral history.  I teach courses in the history of crime and policing, the history of the American West, urban history, and modern American history. 

My manuscript, The Streets of San Francisco: Policing and the Creation of a Modern Liberal Politics, 1950-72, is under contract with the University of Chicago Press’s Historical Studies of Urban America series.  This book narrates how a new generation of establishment liberals in post-World War II San Francisco used the interactions between police and various marginalized groups (including the beats, sexually explicit artists, gay bar owners, and black gang leaders) to craft a political posture and policy promising expanded democracy in city hall and tough law enforcement on the street.  As San Francisco liberals argued that they could create a city that was both democratic and orderly, they forwarded new definitions of democracy and crime and a new understanding of the relationship between the community, the government, the police department, and the individual cop on the beat.  The discussions over democracy and policing that dominated San Francisco politics during the 1950s and 60s anticipated many urban debates of the 1980s and 90s when liberals questioned whether they could provide both democracy and security through programs such as broken-windows law enforcement and community policing.

In my future teaching and research, I plan to continue analyzing urban liberalism and street-level policing.  My next project will investigate the relationship between liberal understandings of democracy, crime, and police discretion during the 1970s and 80s through a comparative study of urban Democratic administrations across the United States.

 Upcoming Publications

  • The Streets of San Francisco: Policing and the Creation of a Cosmopolitan Liberal Politics, 1950-1972 (The University of Chicago Press, March 2014).

 Current Publications​​

  •  Gayola: Police Professionalization and the Politics of San Francisco’s Gay Bars, 1950-1968,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 15:3 (Spring 2007).
  • Hist 4308/5308: Crime, Policing, and Justice in America
  • Hist 4225/5225: U.S. Urban History
  • Hist 3349: Social Movements in Twentieth-Century America
  • Hist 4219/5129: American History since 1930

Summer 2014:  Please email​ by appointment only.