After growing up in North Humberside, she attended the University of Manchester, graduating with a history degree in 1991. She subsequently completed her doctorate under the supervision of Dave Russell at the University of Central Lancashire; she was awarded her PhD in 1996 for her thesis Women and leisure in Manchester, 1920–c.1960. In 1998, Langhamer started working as an academic at the University of Sussex and, as of 2017, is Professor of Modern British History there. She is also Director of Doctoral Studies in the School of History, Art History and Philosophy. As of 2017, she is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHistS).
Langhamer's work has focused on the history of emotion, love, leisure and work in twentieth-century Britain, often in relation to the experiences of women. Alongside more than a dozen articles in peer-reviewed journals, Langhamer has published two books, Women's Leisure in England, 1920–1960 (Manchester University Press, 2000) and The English in Love: The Intimate Story of an Emotional Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2013).
Reviews of published works
- The English in Love (2013)
- Sally Holloway for Reviews in History (Institute of Historical Research, January 2014).
- Alexander Harris for The Guardian, 9 August 2013.
- The Economist, 17 August 2013 (vol. 408, no. 8849, p. 70).
- Karen Shook and Hilary Hinds for The Times Higher Education Supplement, 8 August 2015 (no. 2113, p. 44).
- Richard Davenport-Hines for New Statesman, 16 August 2013 (vol. 142, no. 5171, p. 38).
- Adrian Bingham for Contemporary British History, vol. 29, no. 2 (2015), pp. 284–285.
- Susan J. Matt for Journal of Interdisciplinary History, vol. 45, no. 2 (2014), pp. 227–229.
- Susan Quilliam for Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, vol. 40 (2014), p. 149.
- Women's Leisure in England, 1920–1960 (2000)
- Grace Lees-Maffei for Journal of Design History, vol. 14, no. 2 (2001), pp. 162–164.
- Sean O'Connell for Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 37, no. 4 (2002), pp. 675–683.