Linda Shay, PhD

I am a social historian specializing in 20th Century studies. I hold a BA and MA in History and a PhD in Education. My dissertation research was grounded in constructivist education theory; the understanding that cognitive functions are the result of social interactions. I am very interested in the formation of the collaborative dialogue and interaction within the online environment, especially within the current proliferation of social media. My research interests outside of dissertation are broadly concerned with the culture of everyday life and the formation of collective memory; specifically, the interconnection between personal experience and historical memory.

I am the Executive Director and Curator at the Brea Museum, where I manage a collection of approximately 45,000 photos, ephemera, and cultural artifacts. I am researching for an upcoming exhibit, the use of eminent domain as a controversial strategy during urban and suburban redevelopment.  We have completed and published our research on exclusionary housing practices as tactics of  de facto segregation in the northern and western United States during the early 20th century. Please visit  to engage with this comprehensive study.

Other research interests are broadly focused on the influence of propaganda on societal development and historical memory. One example is the impact the adherence to National Socialism had on the accuracy of German genealogical records from 1930 through the 21st century.

In all, my work is grounded in Applied History; a methodology that specifically works to clarify current challenges by analyzing the historical patterns, because knowledge of our past can not only help explain our present, but provide the tools needed to build our tomorrow.

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Phone:     562-333-6095