The study of film as one of the 20th and now the 21st century’s most important and influential forms of artistic expression is Jennifer Townsend's major area of teaching and research.
In teaching composition, the courses are designed to be responsive to the research and writing needs and interests of the students as well as their future discourse communities both professional and academic. The profound impact of social media and digital technologies on the art and practice of written and spoken communication genres is a key conceptual area of both teaching and research. Reflection, metacognition, and transference of skills are embedded into traditional writing and research assignments such as a research paper or PowerPoint presentation as well as the construction of digital genres such as a web page or video game.
Townsend teaches film studies and composition in the Liberal Arts department at CCS and in the English Department at Wayne State University. At CCS, Townsend teaches film courses including Introduction to Film, Science Fiction Film and Documentary Film. She has also taught composition courses including The Art of Argument, Technical Writing, and Writing for Art and Design.
At Wayne State University, Townsend teaches Introduction to Film and Intermediate Composition. She has also taught Introduction to College Writing, Introduction to Fiction, Project 350 (a college prep summer course for at-risk students that emphasized individual mentoring and guidance), and Chicano-Boriqua Studies in Composition (a special section of College Writing that emphasized the deep cultural roots of Hispanic students as a way to foster and promote academic success).