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A brief history of melancholy - Courtney Stephens

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TEDEd Animation

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If you are a living, breathing human being, chances are you have felt sad at least a few times in your life. But what exactly is melancholy, and what (if anything) should we do about it? Courtney Stephens details our still-evolving understanding of sadness -- and even makes a case for its usefulness.

The work of Arthur Kleinman looks at the way people articulate emotion across cultures. What are the implications of his research? Can you think of any common idioms for emotion, such as “He was a pain in the neck!”?

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Courtney Stephens
  • Director Sharon Colman Graham
  • Composer Peter Gosling
  • Script Editor Addison Anderson
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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