I was reading through some chapters of Joanna Russ's book "How to Suppress Women's Writing," when I had some ideas about authority control. Russ's book is one that I re-read often. It speaks to more than just women's writing -- it is a general description of how the accomplishments of a non-dominant group in any society can be ignored or devalued. Russ mentions many women authors who never make the "top 100" list, or the "Anthology of [whatever] Literature." She also states that a majority of writers in the 19th century were women.
I immediately thought how it would be interesting to use a large database, such as LoC's file, or WorldCat, to retrieve authors either by gender or country of origin. It then occurred to me that this is information that we do not include in authority records, even though it is probably available in a majority of cases. I also recall -- although I cannot place -- a discussion about adding to the authority record for an author the names of all of the author's works. In this sense, the authority record would be more than a controlled form of the author's name, it would actually contain information about the author that would be of interest to catalog users. There is talk of adding links from author names in catalog records to their Wikipedia entries. Those entries are surely more of interest to users than the authority record, which is just a list of variant forms of the name. For example, look at the wikipedia entry for Joanna Russ, and compare that to the authority record for the same person.
So imagine an "author" record, either related to or in place of the authority record. It could help users understand who the author is, and to place the author in a historical period (even if the authoritative form of the name doesn't include dates). If coded well, a database of author records could provide some interesting information for various areas of study.